Toevalligheid in Ingrid Winterbach se "Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat" : interpretasies van die roman met die fokus op die tema van kontingensie

Van den Heever, Aletta Jacoba (2010-03)

Thesis (MA (Afrikaans and Dutch))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis is a study of Ingrid Winterbach‟s novel, Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat. The premise of the thesis is that a study of the theme of contingency or chance can lead to a heightened insight into the novel. The novel is approached from different perspectives, but in each perspective the way in which the theme of chance is developed in the novel, is illuminated. By way of introduction the history of the term “contingency” in the Afrikaans language and Western philosophy is broadly traced. This is the background to a reading of the novel as a reaction to contingency. This is followed by a reading of the novel from the perspective of the sociology of religion. The focus is on the nominizing function of religion; the role of language in this process and the way in which Helena Verbloem‟s shells become symbol of man‟s search for meaning and order. In the third chapter the novel is read from the perspective of popular science with the focus on the part of chance in the history of evolutionary thought and the way the novel interprets this. A reading of the novel from the perspective of the philosophy of language follows: the arbitrary and contingent nature of language is discussed and the way the novel underlines this, is brougth to the attention. In the last chapter the novel is read from the perspective of literary theory, focusing on the traditional narrative structure and the way in which it is undermined, undermining also in the process a teleological reading of the novel. Following the reading of the novel from these different perspectives, the conclusion is made that Ingrid Winterbach acknowledges contingency and makes it her own to such an extent that she meets Nietzsche‟s criteria for a “brave poet”. She is indeed a brave and poetic novelist.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is ‟n studie van Ingrid Winterbach se roman, Die boek van toeval en toeverlaat. In die studie word die tema van kontingensie of toeval sentraal gestel. Die roman word dan ook vanuit verskillende perspektiewe benader; binne elkeen word die wyse waarop die toeval as tema in die roman uitgewerk word, duideliker. Daar word eerstens ‟n gebruiksgeskiedenis van die term “kontingensie” in die Afrikaanse taal en die Westerse filosofie gegee. Hiermee word die agtergrond geskets waarteen die roman as reaksie op die kontingensie gelees moet word. Daarna word die roman vanuit ‟n godsdiens-sosiologiese perspektief benader: die rol wat die tradisionele toeverlaat steeds in die hoofkarakter, Helena Verbloem, se lewe speel, word in oënskou geneem. Die fokus val op die nomiserende werking van godsdiens; die rol van taal in hierdie proses en die wyse waarop Helena se skulpe simbool word van die mens se soeke na betekenis en orde. In die derde hoofstuk word die roman vanuit ‟n populêr-wetenskaplike hoek gelees: die aandag word gerig op die rol van toeval in die geskiedenis van evolusionêre denke en die wyse waarop die roman hiermee in gesprek tree. ‟n Taalfilosofiese perspektief kom vervolgens aan die beurt: die arbitrêre en toevallige aard van taal word bespreek en die wyse waarop hierdie idees in die roman teruggevind word, word uitgelig. In die laaste hoofstuk word die roman vanuit ‟n literêr-teoretiese perspektief gelees met die fokus op die tradisionele narratiewe struktuur en hoe die wyse waarop daarvan afgewyk word, ‟n teleologiese lees ondermyn. Na aanleiding van die bespreking van die roman vanuit hierdie verskillende hoeke, word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat Ingrid Winterbach die kontingensie erken en haar eie maak en daarom aan Nietzsche se kriteria vir ‟n “brawe digter” voldoen. Sy is inderdaad ‟n brawe en digterlike romanskrywer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4220
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