Die representasie van veelfasettige manlikheidsbeelde in Eben Venter se romanoeuvre
This study focuses on the representation of masculine imagos in the South African novelist Eben Venter’s novel oeuvre and more specifically on the multifaceted nature of Venter’s delineation of masculinity. His novels Foxtrot van die Vleiseters (1993), Ek stamel ek sterwe (1996) (translated into English as My beautiful death ((2004)) and Santa Gamka (2009) were selected to represent Venter’s novel oeuvre. The male protagonist in each novel may be viewed as typical representations of masculine imagos in his novels. The workability of cognitive narratology as a literary approach to analyse and interpret novels is tested by identifying the frames and scripts within the selected novels. Cognitive frames in narratives are those backdrops against which the events take place, while the actions executed by the characters are read as cognitive scripts. These scripts create the projected masculinity imagos of the male protagonists. When reading the novels, the reader is confronted with various cognitive choices of which three are especially important. The first is the choice to discard existing ideas and perceptions in order to make room for new ideas and perceptions. The second choice is to modify existing ideas and adjust them by means of the cognitive processing of information in the novels. The last choice entails the total rejection of the new ideas. Irrespective of the cognitive processes that occur during the reading process, the representation of masculinity in the novels will inevitably have an effect on the way in which the reader will experience masculinity in future. In the characters of Petrus Steenekamp (Foxtrot van die Vleiseters), Konstant Wasserman (Ek stamel ek sterwe) and Lucky Marais (Santa Gamka) Venter illustrates the complexity of the masculinity issue due to the cultural, social and political frames with which people are encoded. This encoding is also reflected in the scripts that are determined by the characters’ behaviour and actions. Venter demonstrates sensitivity and compassion for all the characters in his novels and his representation of masculinity instils sensitivity and compassion in readers. This instilment will most probably create a better understanding of masculinity, as well as humanity, within the cognition of the reader. The most important finding is that it is indeed possible to use cognitive narratology as literary approach to analyse and interpret the chosen novels in order to make valid conclusions – in this case with regard to the complex delineation of multifaceted masculine imagos within Eben Venter’s novel oeuvre. Further deductions include those made about the appearance of different images of masculinity within Venter’s novel oeuvre and especially how the farm frame and the father/son relationship frame manifest prominently in Venter’s novels.
- Humanities