Ensiklopediese fiksie in die oeuvre van Marlene van Niekerk

Loots, Sonja (2016-03)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research investigates the prevalence of encyclopedic elements in three Afrikaans novels by Marlene van Niekerk: Triomf (1994), Agaat (2004) and Memorandum: ’n Verhaal met skilderye (2006). Definitions of “encyclopedic fiction”, “encyclopedic forms” and “encyclopedic narrative” by Northrop Frye (1957), Edward Mendelson (1976), Hilary Clark (1990 and 1992) and Leo Bersani (1990) are considered. I investigate the relationship between Enlightenment encyclopedias and the novels of early fictional encyclopaedists such as Miguel de Cervantes, François Rabelais, Robert Burton and Laurence Sterne; and argue that the historical relationship between the factual and the encyclopedic novel is still influential. I point out connections between early modern encyclopedic novels and Van Niekerk's novels. I argue that her novels display features of encyclopedic narrative, but that in local context it alters this genre in dynamic and innovative ways. With reference to Mikhail Bakhtin’s (1965) work on Rabelais, I explore the meaning of scatological images and the appearance of monsters and giants in Van Niekerk's novels. Other oeuvre patterns related to encyclopedism are also explored. The rewriting of the Faustus myth is analyzed and associated with the figure of the heir. The metafictional importance of characters wrestling with encyclopedic knowledge, and their teachers are discussed. I postulate that the reprocessing of encyclopedic sources and source material is a creative strategy and illustrate that this strategy is thematised in the novels themselves. I note differences in the use of sources and source material in the various novels and conclude that Van Niekerk's work speaks of ambivalence toward the Afrikaans and South African contexts in which it originated.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing ondersoek die voorkoms van ensiklopediese elemente in drie romans van Marlene van Niekerk: Triomf (1994), Agaat (2004) en Memorandum: ’n Verhaal met skilderye (2006). Northrop Frye (1957), Edward Mendelson (1976), Hilary Clark (1990 en 1992) en Leo Bersani (1990) se definisies van ensiklopediese fiksie word bespreek. Ek gaan die verhouding na tussen Verligtingsera-ensiklopedisme en die romans van vroeë skrywers van ensiklopediese fiksie (soos Miguel de Cervantes, François Rabelais, Robert Burton en Laurence Sterne); en argumenteer dat die historiese verhouding tussen die feitelike ensiklopedie en die ensiklopediese roman steeds invloedryk is. Ek wys op verbande tussen vroegmoderne ensiklopediese romans en Van Niekerk se romans. Ek argumenteer dat haar romans kenmerke van ensiklopediese narratief vertoon, maar op dinamiese en vindingryke wyse dié genre in lokale konteks wysig. Met verwysing na Mikhail Bakhtin (1965) se insigte oor die boeke en leefwêreld van Rabelais, ondersoek ek die betekenis van skatologiese beelde en die voorkoms van monsters en reuse in Van Niekerk se romans. Ander oeuvrepatrone wat met ensiklopedisme verband hou, word ook uitgewys. Die herskrywing van die Faustus-mite word ontleed en in verband gebring met die figuur van die erfgenaam. Die metafiksionele belang van karakters se worsteling met ensiklopediese kennis en met hul leermeesters word uitgewys. Ek bespreek die herverwerking van ensiklopediese bronne en bronmateriaal as kreatiewe strategie en gaan na hoe dit getematiseer word. Ek let op verskille in die hantering van bronne en bronmateriaal in die onderskeie romans en lei daaruit af dat Van Niekerk se oeuvre getuig van ambivalensie teenoor die Afrikaanse en Suid-Afrikaanse konteks waarbinne dit ontstaan.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98603
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