The theme of childhood as a source of inspiration in the works of Arthur Rimbaud and Francois Nourissier

Weitz, Zelda (1999-12)

Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: The object of this study is to determine the importance of the child's creativity through the works of 19th century poet, Arthur Rimbaud and the 20th century author, François Nourissier. An attempt is made to present the child's experiences as a central theme in the text. In part one of this thesis, reference is made to Rimbaud's poetry and selected letters, believed to have been written between 1869 and 1891. The collections Une Saison en Enter and Les Illuminations, portraying the child in his creative world, are of importance, along with his masterpiece Le Bateau Ivre (±1871). Themes that refer to his childhood are emphasized. In part two, fourteen of François Nourissier's most important novels are discussed, with specific reference to his autobiographical works. Nourissier believes that his childhood is responsible for the author he has become. In part three the childhood of both authors is compared, illustrating some of the most important themes. It is not common to compare an author's prose with a poet's poetry, but because of Nourissier's poetic language and similar themes, it is made possible. Nourissier needs to delve in his past to find fulfilment in his writing as an adult, while Rimbaud struggles to eternalise the innocence of his childhood in his poetry. The conclusion drawn from this study, is that the child's socialisation in his family and his surroundings will remain deeply rooted in his creative thinking. The author can use negative experiences with success in his works as a therapy or simply as a liberating process by sharing his ideas with society. The value of the author and his writing are often questioned, but when the reader can identify with the text, it can help him to work with his own creative silences, and to channel these into a positive creative process. The child that was· exposed to a limited socialisation does not need to remain a victim of his surroundings, but can freely use his innate creativity as a gifted artist.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie is om die kind se kreatiwiteit uit te lig aan die hand van die 19de eeuse digter, Arthur Rimbaud en die 20ste eeuse skrywer, François Nourissier se werke as voorbeeld. Daar word gepoog om die belang van die kind se ervarings as sentrale tema vir hul teks aan te dui. In die eerste deel van die tesis word daar na Rimbaud se poesie en geselekteerde briewe verwys, wat vermoedelik vanaf 1869 tot 1891 geskryf is. Dit is veral sy poesie in die bundels, Une Saison en Enter en Les Illuminations wat die kind in sy verbeeldingswereld uitbeeld, wat van belang is, tesame met sy meesterlike gedig Le Bateau Ivre(± 1871). Temas wat verband hou met sy kinderlewe word beklemtoon. In die tweede deel word na veertien van François Nourissier se belangrikste boeke verwys, waaronder die meeste outobiografies van aard is. Nourissier pia as die klem op sy kinderlewe as inspirasie tot die skrywer wie hy is. In die derde deel word die twee skrywers se kinderjare vergelyk deur enkele temas uit te lig. Dit is ongewoon om 'n roman skrywer se werke te vergelyk met die van 'n digter, maar die poetiese taal en soortgelyke temas van Nourissier maak dit moontlik om vergelykend hul werk te bestudeer. Nourissier as volwasse skrywer moet delf in sy verlede om vervulling te vind, terwyl Rimbaud die onskuld van sy kinderjare probeer verewig in poesie. Die gevolgtrekking word gemaak dat die kind se sosialisering in sy familie en sy omgewing, diep gewortel is en sal bly in sy kreatiewe denke. Negatiewe ervarings kan suksesvol deur die skrywer in sy werke terapeutiese waarde verkry, of dit kan die skrywer se ervarings aan die samelewing bekend stel as 'n blote bevrydingsproses. Die waarde van die outeur se skryfkuns word dikwels bevraagteken, maar wanneer die leser hom met die teks kan identifiseer, kan dit hom help om sy kreatiewe stiltes te ontgin, en dit tot 'n positiewe skeppingsdrang te omskep. Die kind met 'n beperkte . sosialisering hoef nie 'n lydende party van sy omgewing te bly nie, maar hy kan dit vryelik gebruik vir die ontluiking van sy verborge talente.

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