n Journal of Literary Studies - Revisiting the canon and the literary tradition : a South African case study : conference proceedings

Volume 21, Issue 1_2
  • ISSN : 0256-4718



Literary evolution is a process that occurs in every literary system. Due to the fact that literary systems do not merely exist, but come into being, it follows that they organise and protect themselves; changes therefore do not readily occur. Literary evolution cannot be described in neopositivistic terms and neither can possible changes be accurately predicted. The whole process of literary change is affected by intersystemic aspects as well as "extraneous factors" like historical events. It is customary to describe literary evolution as the succession of "streams", "movements" or "periods". A period can be described as a "regulative idea", a system of norms and conventions. In this study the above-mentioned terms are discussed and their interconnectedness explained. Shifts in the Afrikaans literary system of the past decades are subsequently described and possible explanations offered.

Literêre evolusie is 'n proses wat in elke literatuursisteem plaasvind. Omdat literêre sisteme nie maar net bestaan nie, maar tot stand kom, is dit ook so dat hul sigself organiseer en beskerm, en derhalwe nie geredelik verander nie. Literêre evolusie kan daarom nie bloot in neo-positivistiese terme verklaar of voorspel word nie en intersistemiese aspekte speel 'n ewe groot rol in literêre evolusie as sogenaamde buitefaktore soos historiese gebeure. Dit is verder gebruiklik om literêre evolusie te beskryf as die opeenvolging van "strome", "bewegings" of "periodes". Laasgenoemde is duidelik markeerbare norme- of konvensiesisteme. In hierdie studie word bovermelde terme eerstens bespreek en logies verbind. Vervolgens word verskuiwings in die Afrikaanse literatuursisteem van die afgelope dekades beskryf, en verklarings vir hierdie prosesse word aan die hand gedoen.

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