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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - "Ons ís mense. My kinders hét gesigte." Die natuurlike omgewing en die konseptualisering van die self in (Carol Campbell) : navorsings- en oorsigartikels : Afrikaanse kaleidoskoop - bestekopname en standpunte

Volume 54, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract


Carol Campbell's debut novel, (2013), translated by Kirby van der Merwe into Afrikaans as , is the story of a desperately poor, nomadic Karoo family, continually journeying on their donkey cart. They live as "invisible" people: because of their low social standing and illiteracy, they are seen as the scum of society, because of their homelessness and lack of identity documents, they are disregarded by the authorities. These characters struggle to find acknowledgment of their existence and worthiness in the eyes of the world. Nonetheless, each member of Muis and Kapok's family demonstrates a unique understanding of self-worth and of the personal identifying characteristics that relate to who and what he/she really is. The investigation is aimed at establishing to what extent the influence of the natural environment can be proven in the processes of identity construction of the people in this novel, and in which ways this influence shapes the characters' conceptualising of the self. The focus of this exploration is ecocritical: the purpose is to come to an understanding of the concrete and psychological effects of the natural environment on human life and identity in . The investigation is approached within the framework of on-going interest in questions of identity that are becoming an increasing focus of ecocriticism within South African literary studies. In my theorising of the concept of identity, the question of identity construction is thus placed within ecocritical context. The novel is also examined with attention to the socio-political context. The family are descendants of the San and Khoi people; the possibility that the development of their self-worth and a sense of belonging, which are components of personal identity, can be coupled with their relationship with nature is meaningful, read within the context of the debate on belonging and the self in nature (Steenkamp 2011:23) in the postcolonial South African era. In this debate, questions of place and displacement are central as a consequence of our history which is characterised by segregation, land disputes, forced removals and dispossession. casts light on the experience of the self in relation to the natural world by those who could be expected to experience the connection with the land as problematic as a consequence of our colonial past.

Carol Campbell se debuutroman, (2013), in Afrikaans vertaal as , is die verhaal van 'n brandarm, nomadiese Karoo-gesin, voortdurend op reis met hul donkiekar. Hulle leef as "onsigbare" mense: op grond van hulle lae sosiale peil en ongeletterdheid verag of geïgnoreer deur die samelewing, op grond van hulle haweloosheid en gebrek aan identiteitsdokumente negeer deur die owerheid. Tog demonstreer elke lid van Muis en Kapok se gesin 'n unieke besef van eiewaarde en van die persoonlik onderskeidende eienskappe wat verband hou met wie en wat hy/sy werklik is. Die ondersoek is daarop gerig om vas te stel in watter mate die invloed van die natuurlike omgewing bewys kan word in die prosesse van die identiteitskonstruksie van die karretjiemense in hierdie roman en op watter wyse hierdie beïnvloeding gestalte kry in die karakters se konseptualisering van die self. Daar word bevind dat Muis en haar mense hulleself op aktiewe wyse met die natuur verbind: deur die proses van betekenisgewing waarby hulle op kognitiewe, affektiewe sowel as spirituele vlakke betrokke is en deur hulle interaksie met die natuur op fisieke en emosionele vlak. Die karakters se individuele belewing van en reaktiewe betrokkenheid by die Karoo-omgewing is die kernfaktor in die ontwikkeling en bevestiging van persoonlike identiteit, asook van elkeen se gevoel van te behoort. Elke karakter in die karretjiegesin demonstreer op eiesoortige wyse die effek van hulle natuurverbintenis op die konstruering van selfkennis en -identiteit.

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/content/akgees/54/4/EJC163390
2014-12-01
2019-08-25

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