Tradisie en vernuwing - Hierdie lewe van Karel Schoeman

Du Toit, P. A (1996-04)

CITATION: Du Toit, P. A. 1996. Tradisie en vernuwing - Hierdie lewe van Karel Schoeman. Literator, 17(1): 43-56, doi: 10.4102/lit.v17i1.578.

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Since the sixties generalizations have frequently been made regarding the difference between old (older, traditional) and new (newer, "modem") Afrikaans prose. Karel Schoeman’s novel Hierdie lewe (1993), however, shows the relativity o f the dichotomy old vs. new prose. The theme o f this novel is fairly traditional: a reminiscence o f a life o f hardship and loneliness in the South African platteland. Nevertheless the formalization o f this theme is not that o f the "gemoedelike lokale realisme" (a genial local realism) which N.P. van Wyk Louw referred to. The on-going process o f "making strange/making unfamiliar ” (Victor Shklovsky) is achieved by a specific style o f writing. The novel’s merit lies in the fa c t that Schoeman, within the linguistic options available to him, within the focus o f the chosen narrative perspective, and within the time frame o f the 19th century, exhibits considerable creative mastery o f the language - despite the constraints presupposed by each o f these contexts. It is an outstanding achievement that Schoeman could fin d so many parallels and synonyms and integrate them in a diffuse but systematic way in his comprehensive novel.

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