n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Vrouejeugboekskrywers oor die Anglo-Boere oorlog : realisme en versoening na dekades van avontuur en nasionalisme

Volume 49, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


Die Anglo-Boereoorlog het 'n baie belangrike invloed op die geskiedenis van die Afrikaner gehad en is as tema ook goed verteenwoordig in die Afrikaanse literatuur vir volwassenes. Aan die ander kant het daar relatief min jeugboeke met hierdie oorlog as tema verskyn. Die moontlikhede wat dié oorlog, waaraan soveel kinders aktief deelgeneem het, aan outeurs gebied het, is nie in die Afrikaanse kinder- en jeugliteratuur ontgin nie. Die vlaag nuwe boeke vir volwassenes wat met die honderdjarige herdenking van die oorlog aan die einde van die eeu in Afrikaans verskyn het, het nie in die kinder- en jeugliteratuur gemanifesteer nie. Géén nuwe Afrikaanse kinder- en jeugboeke met hierdie oorlog as tema het na 1990 verskyn nie. Afrikaanse kinders en jongmense het dus nie die voordele geniet wat sulke boeke dikwels vir volwassenes gehad het nie, naamlik waarheid, versoening en die herskepping van die individuele en die kollektiewe.

The Anglo-Boer War has been a very important influence in the history of the Afrikaners, and is well represented as a theme in Afrikaans literature for adults. However, so far relatively few books for young people have appeared with the war as their theme. The potential of this war, in which so many children were active participants, has not been realised properly by authors of Afrikaans children's and youth literature. The wave of new books for adults which appeared in Afrikaans during the centenary of the war at the end of the 20th century did not reach children's and youth literature. No new children's or youth books with the war as theme have appeared after 1990. The role often played by such books for adults - finding the truth, achieving reconciliation and recreating both individuals and the collective - was therefore not available by way of Afrikaans children's and youth literature.
In this article five Afrikaans youth books with the Anglo-Boer war as theme that were published between 1985 and 1990 were analysed. These books include by Maretha Maartens (1985), by Franci Greyling (1986), by Franci Greyling (1988), by Ria Jordaan (1989) and by Heléne le Roux (1990). All these books were written by female authors.
This article discusses the changes introduced by women writers on the Anglo-Boer War. It initially compares the children's and youth literature on this topic in Afrikaans with South African adult fiction as discussed by Eduan Swanepoel in 1998. Swanepoel identifies in an article in , five periods of which the first extends from 1902-1910 and is characterised by personal accounts. The second period, 1910-1934, features memoirs with an additional element of fiction. Literature which appeared during the third period, between 1934 and 1948, is overwhelmingly propagandist. After a period featuring trivial popular novels replete with anti-English sentiments (1948-1980), we have the postmodern or postcolonial phase, characterised by a reversal of ideological and political sentiments. As far as Afrikaans youth literature is concerned, the first two phases do not for practical purposes exist. The next two phases identified by Swanepoel can be combined in Afrikaans youth literature. Most of the youth books which appeared during that time were written by Mikro. The postmodern or postcolonial period can be identified in youth literature about the war written by female authors.

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