Die nomadiese self : skisoanalitiese beskouinge oor karaktersubjektiwiteit in die prosawerk van Alexander Strachan en Breyten Breytenbach

Anker, Willem Petrus Pienaar (2007-12)

Thesis (DLitt (Afrikaans and Dutch))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This dissertation studies the depiction of character subjectivity in two text series of Alexander Strachan and Breyten Breytenbach. Strachan’s first three prose works are dealt with as a trilogy wherein one main character, Lenka, traverses three texts. Breytenbach’s five autobiographical prose works about visits to South Africa are also dealt with as a text series wherein one main character, Breytenbach, is depicted. In both instances the subjectivity, as portrayed by these authors, is read as a nomadic subjectivity, a term borrowed from the French thinkers Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. The study assumes the form of a Deleuze-Guattarian reading of Strachan and Breytenbach’s work with a sustained focus on the depiction of the nomadic subject in the works of both authors. During the course of the study many philosophical concepts, developed in the work of Deleuze and Guattari, are explained and implemented as thinking and reading instruments whereby the prose texts are read in a new perspective. Although a Deleuze-Guattarian reading of prose texts is a relatively uncharted territory in circles of Afrikaans literary theory, this study purports to indicate that when a schizo-analytical view of subjectivity is used to analyse the functioning of character subjectivity within literary works, the texts gain new life in interesting ways. Using the concept of the nomadic subject empowers me to establish a useful reading strategy for the reading of a character who refuses to become wholly subjected to the text and the world within which he lives and who rather experiences an existence of perpetual becomings. Eventually it is suggested that the creation of a nomadic character is not only dependent upon a different grasp of subjectivity as indicated in the text, but that the writing of a particular, revolutionary form of literature, a minor literature, is implied. The nomadic subject’s being implies perpetual becomings, and a successful literary portrayal of this subject must depict such becomings at stylistic and formal levels. This study moves systematically from an analysis of nomadic subjects in literary texts to the more general question of how a minor literature functions so that the nomadic being of the character is also kept alive in the form and style of the text.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1088
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