Andre P. Brink : 'n literere sisteemondersoek
Smith, Matilda Sophia
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It is evident from chapter 1, which sets out the theoretical framework of this research that the focus will he placed on the extratextual domain. The intratextual aspects of Brink's works constitute a field that has already been researched thoroughly by numerous students. More than twenty dissertations and theses have been published on this subject. This investigation concentrates on the rote Brink played from about 1960 to 1990 in the Afrikaans literary system and systems that interacted with it. The interaction between the literary system and the political, religious and social systems is taken into account throughout the research. Chapter 2 focuses on the historical fact that Brink's Kennis van die aand (1973) was the first Afrikaans novel banned after the 1963 legislation. With this work, Brink contributed to the creation of polarisations within the South African systems, as a result of which traditional views in Afrikaner circles increasingly came under discussion. Brink and other authors, together with the media, took over the church's function of addressing social conscience. During the period of emergency regulations in the apartheid era and the time when press censorship was most stringent, authors took it upon themselves to inform the public about the conditions in the country which the media were not allowed to disclose. In this way, literary works gained new functions. The Slate's interference in the form of the ban on Kennis gave rise directly to the emergence of subsystems within the Afrikaans literary system. For example, the ban on Kennis resulted in the establishment of the Afrikaanse Skrywersgilde, which often served as a platform for Brink's views. Chapter 3 shows how, from the middle seventies, the striving for national unity increasingly split up into divergent political interests, social responsibilities, ecclesiastical matters and different visions of the future of Afrikaans. New voices were heard about mailers such as nation and culture. In the process, the boundaries surrounding the Afrikaner system were gradually extended (sec chapter 4), which had an unmistakable influence on the Afrikaans literary system. In the eighties, there was greater interaction between the Afrikaans literary system and the other systems. Chapter 5 deals with Afrikaans as system boundary. In the nineties, it seems that the boundaries of the Afrikaner system are also being extended to accommodate other forms of Afrikaans. Afrikaans is being perceived increasingly as a language of rebellion. The fact that eleven languages were granted official status in South Africa in 1994 means that Afrikaans may have to surrender its dominance in the field of literary systems in the country. As a writer, literator, translator, theorist, innovator, newsmaker and international figure, in fact, as a phenomenon, Brink's innovative thinking elicited extremely conflicting reactions during the past two decades, which were characterised by numerous changes. These conflicting reactions represent the deep divisions in Afrikaner ranks. Some of Brink's works had cultural, ethical and socio-political implications that created polarisations within the media, the church and the public. These polarisations are an integral part of the conflict situation that arises from an evolving political system. Brink's innovative ideas and radical views during the apartheid era of the sixties and seventies and his participation in the Lusaka talks in the late eighties, contributed to a change in course so that new discussions could take place about the literary system and the systems interacting with it. In the sixties and seventies, the division lay mainly between the different systems, and in the eighties within the systems themselves. The controversy that has surrounded Brink for so long, the vehement nature of reactions and polemic issues in the media not only represent the polarising forces at work in South Africa's different systems and subsystems, but also the stereotypical views within the different Afrikaans systems.