n Stilet : Tydskrif van die Afrikaanse Letterkundevereniging - Vervreemding in Fanie Viljoen se (2005)

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1013-4573


Fanie Viljoen's (2005) depicts an alternative youth subculture in contemporary South Africa ; a subculture that parallels those found in the US and Europe. Melvin Seeman's (1959) theory of alienation identifies five aspects of alienation: powerlessness, meaninglessness, normlessness, social isolation and self-estrangement. With reference to recent post-modern and systems theory reinterpretations of Seeman's theory, notably Geyer (1996), Kalekin-Fishman (1998), and Neal & Collas (2000), as well as sociological research on the alternative music subculture, this study explores how alienation theory manifests in Viljoen's novel and aims at a better understanding of the milieu represented in BreinBliksem. Furthermore, suggestions are made as to why the text was received so positively, by arguing that the literary text exists in an open systemic relation with its environment, and that it therefore not only draws on its environment, but that it also provides a fictional space with which a large number of readers can identify.

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