Die spel van assosiasies in en om “Die verlossing van die beeld” van Breyten Breytenbach
Please cite as follows:
Du Toit, P. 2005. Die spel van assosiasies in en om 'Die verlossing van die beeld' van Breyten Breytenbach. Literator, 26(3):23-44, doi:10.4102/lit.v26i3.235.
The original publication is available at http://www.literator.org
The play of association in and around “The liberation of the image” by Breyten Breytenbach This analysis focuses on the conjunction of memory and imagination, which is an important impulse in, and key to, Breytenbach’s work. The play with language and with associations, the foregrounding, in the short story, “Die verlossing van die beeld” (Breytenbach, 1983) with its metafictional title and apparently divergent motifs (rain/water, watch, onion, the death and burial of a grandfather) acts, as it were, as an invitation to the reader to become a co-player. The reader ventures on a search for traces, intertextual links within the Breytenbach oeuvre and for already acknowledged influences such as Surrealism (which in turn casts some light on the strange title of the story) and the Eastern philosophies such as Zen and the even older Taoism. The analysis also takes into account the context in which “Mouroir” was written, namely Breytenbach’s term in prison (1975-1982). Seeing that the writer had to hand in his manuscripts to the jail authorities regularly, he might have decided, consciously or by intuition, to hide some thoughts and feelings behind a screen or a mask, in, for example in “Die verlossing van die beeld”, a lighter tone and irony.