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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Liefde, politieke broederskap en die verbintenisse van verwerking : Alan Paton se : geesteswetenskappe

 

Abstract

Enkele weke na die publikasie van Alan Paton se debuutroman (hierna ) in 1948 is Paton genader met versoeke om sy Suid-Afrikaanse storie in die buiteland aan te pas as 'n musiekblyspel en 'n rolprent. Hierdie artikel ondersoek biografiese, intellektuele en geskiedkundige koppelings tussen die oorspronklike roman en twee verbandhoudende verwerkings () daarvan in die tydperk onmiddellik ná die roman se publikasie. Aandag word gegee aan die historiese en sosiale kontekste waarin as roman, musiekblyspel () en rolprent bekend geword het. Sodoende word daar gewys op onverwagte persoonlike verbintenisse tussen die internasionale rolspelers wat in die middel van die 20ste eeu besig was om in verskillende nasionale kontekste vir menseregte te stry. Daar word nie op die teoretiese diskoerse rondom verwerking (verwerkingsteorie) gefokus nie, omdat die artikel grootliks oor mense handel en hul intellektuele belangstellings en interpersoonlike verbintenisse op die voorgrond stel. Verwerkingsteorie sou meer van pas wees vir 'n artikel wat die werke in meer diepte bespreek; hierdie artikel plaas kwessies van strukturele ontleding en vergelyking van die werke op die agtergrond. In hierdie artikel word daarop gefokus om die rolprentverwerking van se ontstaansgeskiedenis in te sluit by die ontstaansgeskiedenisse van die roman en die opera/musiekblyspel. Die drieluik wat in hierdie artikel opgestel word, word nie stelselmatig en vergelykend in terme van vorm en inhoud ontleed nie. Die aandag word eerder gevestig op die oorkoepelende geskiedenis van die drie werke en op die sosiale omgewing waarin hulle ontstaan het.


In July 1946 Alan Paton travelled to London where he attended a conference of an international ecumenical group called the Society of Jews and Christians. One of the speakers at that conference was the American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr. Niebuhr made an enormous impact on Paton. In fact, more than forty years later Paton remembered Niebuhr as the best speaker he had heard in his life:
He spoke for an hour without notes, and he had us in the hollow of his hand. One of his themes was the potential goodness of individual man, and the potential wickedness of collective man. An individual man could become a saint, but collective man was a tough proposition. ( 1998)
These words are important when one considers that Paton heard Niebuhr speak more or less a month before beginning to write (hereafter ). was written during the final four months of 1946 while Paton, who normally worked as a prison warder, was on study leave in Europe and America to study prisons outside of South Africa. Paton wrote the novel by fits and starts in between daily visits to detention facilities in Norway, Sweden, the UK and the USA. As a result penal code is one of the strongest themes treated in .
During his American sojourn Paton stayed with people whom he met through connections in the Society of Jews and Christians (known in America as the Conference of Christians and Jews). While doing field work at the renowned penitentiaries of Preston School and Alcatraz he stayed with one such couple: Aubrey and Marigold Burns. By that time the composition of had been completed, and Paton gave the manuscript to the Burns couple to read. They were both moved by the story, and on Paton's behalf they managed to persuade Maxwell Perkins, a distinguished editor for Scribner's, to publish it.

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2014-03-01
2016-12-04
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