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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Die spieël as blinde mond : die poësie van Breyten Breytenbach : research article

Volume 24, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
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Abstract


The representation of reality, the word and the relationship between signifier and signified is the main theme of this article. In the poetry of the Afrikaans poet, Breyten Breytenbach, representation and "reality" are concerns constantly reflected on. The poem "drome is ook wonde" ("dreams are wounds as well") can be read as a central "ars poetica" of Breytenbach's work. Although it is a love poem it can also be read as literary theory, but not the same kind of theory as in, for example, Horace's or Alexander Pope's work. The poem discussed in this article does not deal with poetry as such, and what poetry should attempt to do; it is a presentation, the poetics being its representation. Breytenbach theorises an "epistemology of reading" in which the intuitive faculty of the reader - more than the cognitive - will guide the creation of meaning, and where the signifying value of the metaphor is beyond logical meaning. With the awareness of the impossibility of portraying reality by means of the poetic word, the mirror and mirror image acquire a meaningful function. For Leonardo (see Gombrich, 1986:5) the mirror was the painter's master; the artist is the maker of mirrors, and then also the maker of dreams. The creation of a second reality, however, has boundaries because of the limitation of the poet's medium. The creation then becomes more meaningful than the imitation, the presentation than the representation. After the analysis of Breytenbach's poem one may come to the same conclusion as Lyotard (1984:81) concerning postmodern aesthetics which " ... allows the unpresentable to be put forward only as the missing contents; but the form ... continues to offer to the reader ... matter for solace and pleasure".

Die representasie van die realiteit, die woord en die verhouding tussen betekenaar en betekende is die hooftema van hierdie artikel. In die poësie van die Afrikaanse digter, Breyten Breytenbach, is representasie en "realiteit" aangeleenthede waaroor voortdurend nagedink word. Die gedig wat hier bespreek word, "drome is ook wonde", kan gelees word as 'n sentrale "ars poetica" van Breytenbach se werk. Alhoewel dit 'n liefdesgedig is, kan dit ook as literêre teorie gelees word, alhoewel nie as teorie van dieselfde aard as in die werk van, byvoorbeeld Horatius of Alexander Pope nie. Hierdie gedig handel nie oor poësie as sodanig en wat poësie behoort te doen nie; dit is 'n presentasie waarvan die poëtika daarvan die representasie is. Breytenbach teoretiseer oor 'n "epistemologie van lees" waarin die intuïtiewe vermoë van die leser, meer as die kognitiewe, die gids by die produksie van betekenis sal wees, en waar die tekenwaarde van die metafoor die logiese te bowe gaan. Bewus van die onmoontlikheid daarvan om die realiteit deur die poëtiese woord uit te beeld, verkry die spieël en die spieëlbeeld 'n betekenisvolle funksie. Vir Leonardo was die spieël die skilder se meester (vgl. Gombrich, 1986:5). Die kunstenaar is die maker van spieëls, en daarom ook die maker van drome. Die skep van 'n tweede realiteit het egter grense as gevolg van die beperkinge van die digter se medium. Die skepping self kry dan meer betekenis as die nabootsing, die presentasie as die representasie. Na die analise van Breytenbach se gedig sou 'n mens tot dieselfde gevolgtrekking as Lyotard (1984:81) omtrent die postmoderne estetiek kon kom. Die postmoderne estetiek bring naamlik die onrepresenteerbare slegs na vore as verlore inhoud. Die vorm hou egter nog aan om die leser stof tot vertroosting en plesier te bied.

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/content/literat/24/2/EJC61741
2003-08-01
2016-12-09

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