Taal wat stamel, stotter en struikel : Marlene van Niekerk se "Die sneeuslaper" (2010) as mineurletterkunde

Stander, Aletta Sophia (2012-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The focus of this study will be on the unique way in which language is used in Marlene van Niekerk‟s collection of short stories, Die sneeuslaper (2010). When reading Die sneeuslaper it is impossible not noticing the number of Dutch words, as well as words and phrases from other foreign languages, as Bargoens, Rotwelsch, German, French, Italian, Hebrew, Greek and Maltese. Some of the characters‟ speech, as well as so called sound poems (or nonsense verses) are characterised by a number of newly invented words. However, the meaning of some of these words or phrases remains unclear. Other themes in the four short stories which will be analysed are the so called political responsibility of the artist, as well as music, rhythm and bird-noises. As a theoretical basis of this study, Deleuze and Guattari‟s Kafka Toward a Minor Literature will be used. In Kafka Toward a Minor Literature Deleuze en Guattari formulate their ideas regarding minor literature. They describe a major language as a language of dominance and power, while a minor language is a language without any power. According to them the three characteristics of minor literature are: the minor deterritorializes the major, minor literature is always political, and minor literature always has a collective function. Deleuze and Guattari‟s, as well as Bogue‟s writing regarding the territorialization and deterritorialization of the refrain, is also explored briefly. Deleuze en Guattari‟s theories regarding minor literature is used in this study to read Die sneeuslaper. In the end it is concluded that the unconventional use of language in this short story collection can be associated with the political nature of some of the stories. The unique usage of language in Die sneeuslaper, the way in which Afrikaans is transformed into a language that stammers, stutters and mumbles, can be seen as a subtle form of political protest. Therefore this collection of short stories can be seen as a form of minor literature.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie fokus op die vreemde wyse waarop taal in Marlene van Niekerk se kortverhaalbundel, Die sneeuslaper (2010), aangewend word. Met die lees van Die sneeuslaper is die hoeveelheid Nederlandse woorde, asook enkele woorde en frases uit ander vreemde tale, soos Bargoens, Rotwelsch, Duits, Frans, Italiaans, Hebreeus, Grieks en Maltees, opvallend. Verder is daar in die karakters se spraak, sowel as in klankgedigte (of onsinverse), vele nuutskeppings waarvan die betekenis nie altyd so duidelik blyk nie, teenwoordig. Ander temas wat in die vier verhale figureer en ondersoek sal word is kunstenaarskap, die sogenaamde politieke verantwoordelikheid van die kunstenaar, asook musiek, ritme en voëlgeluide. As teoretiese vertrekpunt vir die studie word Deleuze en Guattari se Kafka Toward a Minor Literature, waarin hul idees oor mineurlettekunde geformuleer word, gebruik. Deleuze en Guattari onderskei tussen ‟n dominante majeurtaal en ‟n mineurtaal wat sonder mag is. Volgens Deleuze en Guattari is daar drie kenmerke van mineurletterkunde, naamlik dat die mineur die majeur deterritorialiseer, dat mineurletterkunde altyd polities is, en laastens dat mineurletterkunde altyd kollektief van aard is. Bykomend word daar ook kortliks gekyk na Deleuze en Guattari, sowel as Bogue, se skrywe oor territorialisering en deterritorialisering in die refrein. Deleuze en Guattari se teorie oor mineurletterkunde word in hierdie studie as ‟n agtergrond gebruik om Die sneeuslaper te lees. Daar word uiteindelik tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die onkonvensionele taalgebruik in die kortverhaalbundel wel geassosieer kan word met deterritorialisering en dat dit aansluit by die politieke aard van sommige van die verhale. Die wyse waarop Afrikaans in Die sneeuslaper getransformeer word na ‟n taal wat stamel, stotter en struikel, kan dus as subtiele, politieke protes gesien word en daarom kan dié kortverhaalbundel inderdaad as ‟n vorm van mineurletterkunde beskou word.

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