Sosio-literêre perspektiewe op die eietydse digkuns van vroue in die Afrikaanse en Nederlandse taalgebiede

Bezuidenhout, Zandra (2005-12)

Thesis (PhD)-- Stellenbosch University, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A study of poetry by six contemporary women in the Afrikaans and Dutch-speaking worlds points toward a multi-focal approach. While texts by poets of a marked diversity are presented as aesthetic objects, the scope of my research has been determined by considerations of gender, language and culture. The central line of investigation concerns the interplay between the poem as an artefact and the changing socio-cultural contexts by which the respective poets have been informed. My dissertation was inspired by Pierre Bourdieu's argument in favour of a fusion between the close reading practices of the New Critics (and in this case, their Dutch counterparts, the Merlinists) and the contextual approach advocated by literature sociologists. Concomitantly the art philosophical standpoint of Marcia Eaton and the views on the écriture féminine or "women's style of writing" held by Helene Cixous are applied to poetry. By incorporating insights from adjacent disciplines and thereby decentering the relative autonomy of the poetic text, I hope to demonstrate how the study of literature could acquire new relevance, either by expanding its own parameters, or by enriching the field of cultural and gender studies. In conclusion I regard the poetry written by contemporary women as a polyphonic discourse voicing women's newly-found position as subjects and challenging notions such as a monolithic "female identity" and the marginalization of "women's poetry". From this perspective, the aesthetic value of the poetic genre is paralleled by its function as a source of knowledge and a cultural agency.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Ondersoek na die poësie van ses eietydse vroue in die Afrikaanse en Nederlandse taalgebiede veronderstel reeds 'n multifokale invalshoek. Nie alleen word tekste van uiteenlopende digters as estetiese objekte aan die orde gestel nie, maar staan oorwegings soos geslag, taal en kultuur sentraal by die afbakening van die ondersoeksterrein. Daarby vorm die wisselwerking tussen die gedig as artefak en die veranderende sosio-kulturele konteks die riglyn van die betoog. Pierre Bourdieu se aandrang op 'n fusie tussen die stipleesmetode van die New Critics (in Nederland nagevolg deur die Merlinisten) en die kontekstuele benadering van literatuur wat deur literatuursosioloë voorgestaan word, het as aanset tot hierdie studie gedien. Terselfdertyd word die kunsfilosofiese standpunte van Marcia Eaton en die siening van Héléne Cixous omtrent die écriture féminine ("vroulike skryfwyse") op die poësie betrek. Deur insigte uit naasliggende dissiplines te betrek en die outonomie van die poësieteks te relativeer, wil die ondersoek aantoon dat literatuurstudie 'n nuwe relevansie verkry wanneer die parameters van die vakgebied versit, of kultuur- en genderstudies daardeur verryk word. Uiteindelik beskou ek die digkuns van eietydse vroue as In polifoniese diskoers waarin vroue op uiteenlopende wyses stem gee aan hul nuutverworwe subjekposisie, en wat daarmee die nosie van In monolitiese "vroulike identiteit" en dié van "damespoësie" as afsonderlike en gemarginaliseerde kategorie dekonstrueer. Naas die estetiese waarde daarvan, verkry die poësie uit hierdie perspektief ook In nuts- of instrumentele waarde as 'n alternatiewe bron van kennis en In kultuurskeppende agens.

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