'n Analise van 'n Afrikaanse en 'n Nederlandse roman aan die hand van enkele resepsieteoretiese begrippe
Cameron, S. M. (Susanna M.)
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The high sales figures of 'n Droe wit seisoen (Brink, 1979) and De aanslag (Mulisch, 1982) indicate that these novels were extremely well received by the reading public. High sales figures are, however, no guarantee that these novels can be regarded as literary texts. An analysis of both texts by means of certain reception-theoretical concepts may contribute to such a literary evaluation being possible. Concepts from both reception aesthetics and the so-called Wirkungs Asthetik are used. The reception aesthetics concept of the actual reader and his empirical contributions, i.e. reviews, letters in newspapers and journals are focused on because these can contribute to the formation of a horizon of expectations. The reader's knowledge of the genre to which the text belongs, the writer's oeuvre and his view of reality are discussed in sections 2.2.1, 3.3 and 4.3. Wirkungs Asthetik (an aesthetics of reception activity) provides the concepts of implicit author, implicit reader and lacunae, which are used to analyse the texts in order to evaluate whether or not the text can lead the reader to relate the elements with one another and, in so doing, come to a certain understanding. (These concepts are dealt with in sections 2.3, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 and 4.5.2.) While Wirkungs Astethik does not make use of the actual reader, it does not mean that it is only a hermeneutical investigation. A change in emphasis has taken place, viz. the. diverse potential of meaning is now investigated by an informed reader (discussed in section 2.3.3 ). The analysis of a text as is done in this study, can briefy be summarised as follows: the experience of the reader based merely on the level of events in the novel (2.6, 3.2 and 4.2); an expectation with regard to the text which is either confirmed or refuted (2.2, 3.3 and 4.3); an analysis of the structural narrative level by means of techniques which include the notion of perspective and tension among others; • an interpretation of the level of meaning on the basis of a stimulus provided by the structural level, i.e. an interpretation of symbolism and myth (2.8, 3.7 and 4.6). If the text continues to reveal new dimensions of meaning for the same reader on subsequent readings, one can then conclude that the novel can be regarded as having literary quality. It is concluded that a text-immanent study is a prerequisite for communication between text and reader. It was found, however, that the horizon of expectations created by reviews played an important role in the reception of Brink's 'n Droe wit seisoen (discussed in 3.3). The reader's horizon of expectations with regards to Mulisch's De aanslag is based on the reader's knowledge of his oeuvre (discussed in 4.3). In the concluding section of the argument certain interesting parallels between die oeuvres of Brink and Mulisch are noted. For example, both are innovators, politically outspoken, committed and both use a mixture of fiction and faction (See 5.2). Both novels are realistic texts which transcend the level of setting and time: in the case of 'n Droe wit seisoen this is achieved through the strong message against domination while, in the case of De aanslag, this is done by the loaded symbolic dimensions and references and by the existential question of guilt versus innocence. Above all, it is the human tragedy which grips the reader's attention. The narrators in both novels do not attempt to provide instant solutions but leave the reader with certain moral questions which, in turn, become an attack on passivity and indifference. In conclusion it has been found that the sales figures provide an indication that these texts are experienced as having literary qualities because of the new dimensions opened to the informed reader on subsequent readings.
- Humanities