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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Waterslangverhale in Afrikaans : die relevansie van mitisiteit : research article

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Abstract


This article focuses on the reworking of the mythological motif of the water snake in Afrikaans literature. Water snake stories form part of the very first examples of Afrikaans texts in written form, whereas since the end of the twentieth century water snake symbolism has received renewed attention. The analyses of a selection of Afrikaans narratives are performed by utilising the concept of mythicity - a concept which can be defined as the conscious intention to probe the numinous dimensions of human existence by means of literature. The delicate balance between numinosity and narrativity is used as basis for the analysis and evaluation of the texts. The mythic potential of a narrative is not always fully realised, owing either to either restricting ideological and moralistic intentions or excessive association regarding the mythological symbol. The following texts are discussed: by G.R. von Wielligh (1917), by André P. Brink (1988), by Charlotte de Beer (1989) and by George Weideman (1994). The texts are not, however, discussed in chronological order. The relevance of mythicity is specifically illustrated in the Weideman anthology with its positioning of water snake symbolism in a specific historical context whilst simultaneously exploring universal dimensions.

In hierdie artikel word gefokus op die verwerking van die mitologiese motief van die waterslang in die Afrikaanse letterkunde. Waterslangverhale maak deel uit van die heel vroegste voorbeelde van Afrikaanse tekste in geskrewe vorm; sedert die einde van die twintigste eeu het waterslangsimboliek opnuut weer aandag gekry. Die analise van 'n aantal geselekteerde Afrikaanse verhale word gedoen met behulp van die konsep mitisiteit, wat gedefinieer kan word as die bewuste intensie om die numineuse dimensies van die menslike bestaan deur middel van literatuur te peil. Die fyn balans tussen numinositeit en narratiwiteit word gebruik as basis vir die analise en evaluering van die tekste. Die mitiese potensiaal van 'n verhaal word nie altyd volledig verwesenlik nie, wat toegeskryf kan word aan óf inperkende ideologiese of moralistiese intensies óf oormatige assosiëring met die mitologiese simbool. Die volgende tekste word bespreek: deur G.R. von Wielligh (1917), deur André P. Brink (1988), deur Charlotte de Beer (1989) en ; deur George Weideman (1994). Die tekste word egter nie in chronologiese volgorde bespreek nie. Die relevansie van mitisiteit word by uitstek aan die hand van die Weideman-bundel geïllustreer, met die plasing van waterslangsimboliek in 'n spesifieke historiese konteks terwyl universele dimensies terselfdertyd ontgin word.

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/content/literat/25/1/EJC61775
2004-04-01
2016-12-08
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