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n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - A narratological perspective on Douglas Livingstone's (1991)

Volume 31, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0258-2279
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Abstract

This article explores aspects of the contemporary South African poet Douglas Livingstone's "A littoral zone" (1991) from a narratological point of view, leaning largely on Peter Hühn's narratological concept of the event and Rachel Blau DuPlessis' "hypothesis of poetry as segmentivity" as formulated by Brian McHale (2009:18). A discussion of two juxtaposed poems from the said volume explores how the poems' respective anecdotes and events are segmented, then arranged and sequenced into specific narratives to highlight the speaker's conviction of the necessity of a biological and spiritual connection with the natural environment. In the larger context of the volume there are numerous other narrative lines (in the form of poems about specific experiences the poet had) that are juxtaposed in a similar fashion. Collectively these juxtaposed narrative lines then constitute on the level of the volume as a whole the autobiographical narrative of the poet's development as self-ironic individual. The various anecdotes also contribute to the formation and development of the theme of symbiosis, a theme that has a direct bearing on how the poet sees the gap between humankind's current and supposed connection with nature. The main event of the volume is to be found in the reader's mind: the realisation that bridging this gap is absolutely necessary and that it starts with the individual.


Hierdie artikel verken aspekte van die Suid-Afrikaanse digter Douglas Livingstone se bundel "A littoral zone" (1991) vanuit 'n narratologiese perspektief. Die argument steun grootliks op Peter Hühn se konsep van "event" as 'n bepalende verhalende gebeurtenis, asook Rachel Blau DuPlessis se "hipotese van poësie as segmentiwiteit" soos geformuleer deur Brian McHale (2009:18). 'n Bespreking van twee teenoorstaande gedigte uit die genoemde digbundel toon aan hoe anekdotes en gebeurtenisse gesegmenteer en in spesifieke narratiewe georden is om sodoende die spreker se oortuiging van die noodsaaklikheid van 'n biologiese en spirituele verbintenis met die natuurlike omgewing na vore te bring. In die groter konteks van die digbundel is daar verskeie ander narratiewe lyne (in die vorm van gedigte oor spesifieke ervarings van die digter) wat op 'n soortgelyke wyse teenoor mekaar gestel word. Op die vlak van die digbundel as geheel, dra hierdie teenoorstaande narratiewe lyne gesamentlik by tot die outobiografiese narratief van die digter se ontwikkeling as self-ironiserende individu. Die verskeie anekdotes dra ook by tot die vorming en ontwikkeling van die simbiosetema, 'n tema wat direk gekoppel is aan hoe die digter die gaping tussen die mensdom se huidige en veronderstelde posisie in die natuur beskou. Die hoofgebeurtenis van die digbundel word in die leser se denke gevind: die gewaarwording dat 'n oorbrugging van hierdie gaping absoluut noodsaaklik is en dat dit by die individu begin.

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/content/literat/31/3/EJC62164
2010-12-01
2016-12-10

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