Absence as narrational trope in the fictionalised transliteration of experience : a discussion of Dominique Botha's False River

Visser, Lisa Marie (2014-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Dominique Botha‟s False River, published simultaneously with the rewritten Afrikaans text Valsrivier in 2013, is a fictionalised memoir presented as a novel that is written into the tradition of the plaasroman. The text follows the lives of the Bothas of Rietpan in the Free State and spans the years between 1980 and 1997. In this thesis I discuss the novel focussing on questions surrounding narration and its affirmation or negation of agency, embodiment and subjectivity, the narrative construction of the Botha family‟s isolating liberalism in its present post-apartheid context, and the perception of the author and the novel by Afrikaans and English literary communities. I explore the text‟s relationship to genre, drawing on J.M. Coetzee‟s examination of the literary pastoral in White Writing: On the Culture of Letters in South Africa. It is through this theoretical lens that I argue that False River depicts a conflicted, inconsistent and perforated view of Afrikaner identity and its relationship to gender, notions of landed belonging, Afrikaans-English linguistic co-habitation, and black subjectivity, in an agrarian landscape that dominates through anthropopsychism and primogeniture.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Dominique Botha se False River, tegelykertyd gepubliseer met die herskryfde Afrikaanse teks Valsrivier in 2013, is ʼn geromantiseerde memoir wat as fiksie aangebied word en is binne die tradisie van die plaasroman geskryf. Die teks beskryf die lewens van die Bothas van Rietpan in die Vrystaat vanaf 1980 tot 1997. In my tesis bespreek ek dié roman met die fokus op vraagstukke rondom die vertelling se bekragtiging of ontkenning van bemagtiging, beliggaming en subjektiwiteit; van die verhaalkonstruksie van die Botha-familie se isolerende liberalisme in die huidige postapartheid konteks, asook die persepsie van die outeur en die roman deur Afrikaanse en Engelse literêre gemeenskappe. Ek ondersoek die teks se verhouding tot genre, na aanleiding van J.M. Coetzee se behandeling van die literêre pastoraal in White Writing: On the Culture of Letters in South Africa, om aan te voer dat False River ʼn strydige, inkonsekwente en geperforeerde beskouing van Afrikaner-identiteit toon. Die verhouding van dié identiteit tot geslagtelikheid, grondbesit, Afrikaans-Engels linguistiese samebestaan, en swart subjektiwiteit word ook uitgelig binne die milieu van die agrariese landskap wat deur eersgeboortereg en die natuur-in-simpatie-procédé die karakters domineer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96073
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