Die manifestering van humor in geselekteerde Afrikaanse kortverhaaltekste

Vosloo, Jan, 1934- (2003-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: At the start of the twentieth century Afrikaans humour was researched quite intensively. Since then, however, such research has been relatively sporadic and has concentrated on related sub-genres of humour, such as satire, irony and wit. This dissertation investigates anew the phenomenon of humour as manifested in Afrikaans short story texts, from the dual starting points of a current context and of the extensive theoretical studies done by other researchers worldwide. In the process, humour is viewed as a communicative strategy, a combination of codes which writers utilize within a specific socio-political context in order to create humorous effects and elicit resultant reactions from readers. One of the primary aims of this investigation into the codes and strategies employed by Afrikaans writers in the humorous short story genre, is to determine whether they coincide with universal tendencies or whether they have certain unique features. After a broad exposition of the historical background and of the evolution of the continually changing concept humour, attention is paid to theories regarding its nature and effect. The creative interaction between related modi, like comedy, satire, irony, wit, burlesque, travesty, parody, caricature, grotesque, absurd and black humour and their contribution to one's experience of humour are all researched. Initially, the Afrikaans humour-tradition is set against its historical background. Following this, a more detailed investigation considers strategies of humour selected from Afrikaans short story texts from 1884 to 2001. These are selected for their variety of types of humour and according to criteria relating to structure, style and convention. The major emphasis is placed on short stories of the past two decades, in an attempt to measure the era-relatedness of humour and the interaction with the prevailing socio-political context. These various stylistic strategies are contextualized in writers' deliberate attempts to create a humorous outcome. Along with generally universal characteristics - like the interaction of humorous and non-humorous texts, with time-bound trends (in common with other literatures) - it is concluded that the Afrikaans humorous short story is strongly ancho.ed both in relevance and contextuality. Humour remains a vibrant aspect of the Afrikaans short story and, by keeping this tradition alive, it also remains popular with the reading public.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Nadat daar aan die begin van die twintigste eeu betreklik intensiewe navorsing oor humor in Afrikaans gepubliseer is, het sedertdien slegs sporadiese studies verskyn oor verwante humormodi soos satire, ironie en geestigheid. Hierdie proefskrif wil gevolglik vanuit 'n huidige konteks, en na aanleiding van die uitgebreide teoretisering en navorsing elders ter wêreld, die verskynsel humor opnuut ondersoek, soos gemanifesteer in Afrikaanse kortverhaaltekste. Humor word in die proses benader as 'n kommunikatiewe strategie, 'n versameling kodes wat skrywers binne 'n bepaalde sosio-politieke konteks aanwend, met die oogmerk om humoristiese effekte te bewerkstellig en bepaalde reaksies by lesers uit te lok. Dié studie wil veral vasstel watter kodes en strategieë Afrikaanse humoristiese kortverhaalskrywers hierby gebruik, of dit ooreenstem met breë tendense elders of eie is aan Afrikaans. Na 'n oorsigtelike uiteensetting van die historiese grondslae en die evolusie van die steeds veranderende begrip humor, word aandag bestee aan teorieë oor die aard en effek daarvan. Die vrugbare interaksie tussen verwante modi soos die komedie, satire, ironie, geestigheid, die burleske, travestie, parodie, karikatuur, die groteske, die absurde en swart humor, asook die bydrae daarvan tot die humorbelewing, word vervolgens ondersoek. Die Afrikaanse humortradisie word eers oorsigtelik histories nagespeur, waarna nadere ondersoek ingestel word na humorstrategieë aan die hand van Afrikaanse kortverhaaltekste wat dateer van 1884 tot 2001, geselekteer op grond van sowel verskeidenheid met betrekking tot die tipe humor as kriteria soos struktuur, styl en konvensie. Die klem val op kortverhale uit die afgelope twee dekades, ten einde aspekte soos die tydgebondenheid van humor en die interaksie met die heersende sosiopolitieke konteks te probeer bepaal. Die verskillende stylstrategieë wat geïdentifiseer is, word in verband gebring met die skrywers se berekende opset om 'n humoristiese uitkoms te bewerkstellig. Naas meer universele kenmerke, soos die wisselwerking tussen humor en erns in dié tipe tekste en tydspesifieke neigings (in ooreenstemming met ander letterkundes), soos die toename in groteske en absurde tipe verhale, word bevind dat die Afrikaanse humor- en humoristiese verhaal sterk kontekstueel veranker is. Humor in die Afrikaanse kortverhaal word steeds op 'n lewenskragtige wyse beoefen deur skrywers en bly gewild by lesers.

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