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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Op soek na Leipoldt se oom Gert - 'n studie in historiese resonansies

 

Abstract

Teen die agtergrond van Wium van Zyl (1999) se opvatting oor die morele dood van Leipoldt se oom Gert onderneem ek in hierdie artikel, volgens die beginsels van die Nuwe Historisme, 'n soektog na die ou rebel by wie Leipoldt, soos hy by verskillende geleenthede beskryf het, die storie van "Oom Gert vertel" gehoor het. Die ondersoek werp lig op hoe Leipoldt die feite vervals en verfraai het en op die komplekse ontstaansgeskiedenis van die gedig. In kontras met verskillende moontlike historiese persone agter die figuur van oom Gert (en die moontlike wêrelde van die geskiedenis) werp die ondersoek ook lig op die ontologiese status van oom Gert binne die eiesoortige moontlike wêreld van die gedig. Die soektog gee veral insig in die sosiale energieë en resonansies van die gedig in sy historiese konteks. Veral een ou rebel vertoon merkwaardige ooreenkomste met oom Gert, en uit die handjievol tekstuele spore beskikbaar teken ek 'n skets van daardie besonder interessante persoon. Uiteindelik lewer die ondersoek veral 'n ingebedde ("thick") interpretasie van die gedig op wat die komplekse dilemmas van oom Gert as patriarg en lojalis, parallel met Leipoldt se eie morele dilemmas, sterk na vore bring. Gelees met die Nuwe Historisme as benadering, kom die gedig op allesbehalwe 'n morele dood neer.


Against the background of Wium van Zyl's (1999) views on the moral death of Leipoldt's character Oom Gert, I undertake here, on New Historicist principles, a search for the old rebel who, as Leipoldt reported on different occasions, told him the story of "Oom Gert vertel" ("Oom Gert tells"). The study sheds light on how Leipoldt distorted and embellished the facts, as well as on the complex genesis of the poem. In contrast with different possible historical persons behind Oom Gert (and the possible worlds of history) the investigation also sheds light on the ontological status of Oom Gert within the unique possible world of the poem. Above all the investigation reveals the social energies and resonances of the poem in its historical context. One old rebel displays particularly strong correspondences with Oom Gert, and from the few textual traces available I draw a sketch of that singularly interesting person. The investigation finally leads to a thick description of the poem that foregrounds the complex dilemmas of Oom Gert as patriarch and loyalist - parallel with Leipoldt's own moral dilemmas at the time. Read with New Historicist principles the poem constitutes anything but a moral death.

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/content/litnet/7/3/EJC62262
2010-12-01
2016-12-06
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