Die funksie van liminaliteit in die roman-oeuvre van Nederlands-Irakese skrywer Rodaan Al Galidi

Neethling, Susanna Elizabeth Johanna (2017-03)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2017.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The function of liminality in the novel-oeuvre of Dutch-Iraqi author Rodaan Al Galidi is studied in this thesis. The ultimate goal of this study is to connect the functioning of liminality in Al Galidi’s literary works to social and political critique, towards the Dutch and the Western society as a whole, which is visible in his oeuvre. The different manners in which liminality functions in the novels, through spaces and characters, are studied closely to determine the social message that is hidden in Al Galidi’s work. Due to Al Galidi’s background as a refugee from Iraq in the 1990s, it is possible to symbolically connect the social and political commentary in his work to the experiences of the migrant in the Netherlands and also in Europe, in a broader sense. The current migration crisis in Europe is clearly illustrated by means of important anthropological and sociological studies, which explain terms such as multiculturalism, social identity, and the fear of the Other. The theory of liminality is studied, from its origin in anthropology (Van Gennep 1960), to the reworking of this theory (Turner 1969) and, finally, the relevance of this theory concerning literature (Aguirre et al. 2000). The liminal space is defined as an in-between space, by all the before-mentioned theories. It is thus a space recognised between two established spaces. This means that there are always three spaces present in the liminal process: the original space, the liminal space, and the new space. Individuals who find themselves in this in-between space are characterised as liminal figures. The individuals inside the liminal space have the option to move out of this space, across several boundaries. They are able to function as liminal permanently, which means that they choose not to cross over to the new space indefinitely. By staying liminal, they avoid undergoing a transformation. Other individuals might choose to integrate in the new space, which means that they cross over permanently and no longer function as liminal. The liminal space is thus one of great potential for growth and transformation, if the individual concedes. This triple movement of liminality is applied to the novels of Al Galidi, in order to study and determine the movements and final transformation of the characters. This application was done following the literary levels that were determined by Viljoen in a study in 2005. The liminality in the oeuvre of Al Galidi is thus studied on generic, structural, thematic and social level. By studying the movements of the characters in the novels, as well as the different spaces that they function in, the liminal process is clearly noticed. The need for the characters to fit into their immediate environment, or not, differs from novel to novel. These movements are seen as symbolic to the movements and also the experiences of the Eastern migrant in a Western society. In this thesis, the actuality in the oeuvre of Rodaan Al Galidi is studied with the guiding of several social theories and also the theory of liminality. By doing so, the social and political aspects of Al Galidi’s literary work are emphasised.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die funksie van liminaliteit in die roman-oeuvre van die Nederlands-Irakese skrywer Rodaan Al Galidi word in die tesis ondersoek. Die uiteindelike doel is om die funksionering van liminaliteit in sy oeuvre te verbind met sosiale en politieke kritiek wat deur sy literêre werke teenoor die Nederlandse en ook Westerse samelewing in geheel gelewer word. Daar word ondersoek hoe die verskeie liminale karakters en ruimtes in die ses romans van Al Galidi figureer en transformeer om uiteindelik ʼn belangrike sosiale boodskap oor te dra. Vanweë Al Galidi se agtergrond as vlugteling uit Irak, word die sosiale en politieke kommentaar grootliks aangesien as simbolies vir die ervaring van die migrant in Nederland en ook, in ʼn wyer konteks, Europa. Die huidige migrasiekwessie in Europa word bestudeer om ʼn agtergrond vir dié onderwerp te skets. Belangrike antropologiese en sosiologiese studies dra by tot die ondersoek na die multikulturele staat, die belang van sosiale identiteit en ook die vrees vir die Ander. Die teorie van liminaliteit is ondersoek, vanaf die antropologiese oorsprong deur Van Gennep (1960), die bewerking van die teorie deur Turner (1969), tot en met die toepassing van dié teorieë op literatuur (Aguirre et al. 2000). Hierdeur word die liminale ruimte gedefinieer as ʼn tussenin-ruimte – ʼn ruimte tussen twee gevestigde ruimtes. Daar is dus altyd drie ruimtes teenwoordig: die oorspronklike ruimte, die liminale ruimte en die nuwe ruimte. Die individue wat hulself in die tussenin-ruimte bevind, word ook as liminaal beskou. Die karakters binne die ruimte het die vermoë om vanuit dié ruimte te beweeg en oor verskeie drumpels te tree. Individue kan permanent liminaal verkeer en dus verkies om nooit oor te beweeg na die volgende ruimte na afloop van ʼn transformasie nie, terwyl ander individue gemaklik oor die drumpel na ʼn nuwe ruimte beweeg om daar te integreer. Die liminale ruimte is dus een met groot potensiaal vir transformasie en groei, indien die individu dit toelaat. Die drieledige beweging van liminaliteit is gevolglik toegepas op die romans van Al Galidi om die beweging en uiteindelike transformasies van die karakters te bestudeer. Dié toepassing van die teorie is na aanleiding van Viljoen (2005) se literêre vlakke gedoen; die liminaliteit in die oeuvre van Al Galidi word dus ondersoek op generiese, strukturele, tematiese en sosiale vlak. Deur die bewegings van die verskeie karakters te bestudeer, asook die verskillende ruimtes waarbinne hulle beweeg, is daar duidelike liminale prosesse in die romans opgemerk. Die behoefte van die karakters om aan te pas in hul nabye omgewing, of dan nie, verskil van roman tot roman. Dié bewegings word beskou as ʼn simboliese uitbeelding van die bewegings en ook ervaringe van die Oosterse migrant in ʼn Westerse samelewing. In die tesis word die aktualiteit in die oeuvre van Rodaan Al Galidi dus ondersoek met behulp van verskeie sosiale teorieë en ook die teorie van liminaliteit. Hierdeur word die sosiale en politieke aspekte van die literêre werke van Al Galidi beklemtoon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/101458
This item appears in the following collections: