Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Higgins, John en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Crous, Matthys Lourens en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-12-27T19:53:11Z
dc.date.available 2014-12-27T19:53:11Z
dc.date.issued 2013 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Crous, M. 2013. Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10311
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract In this thesis, three of Marlene van Niekerk's novels, translated from Afrikaans into English, are examined, with the focus on the representation of abjection in the texts under discussion.The theoretical point of departure of this study is Julia Kristeva's essay Powers of horror (1982), which addresses, in particular, the notion of abjection and how certain abject elements play a pivotal role in people's everyday lives. From a psychoanalytic perspective, abjection is viewed as a revolt against the mother and foregrounds particularly the influence of the maternal body over the subject. In this instance, the subject desires liberation from the hold of the maternal and seeks to subject the mother to abjection. Bodily fluids seeping out of the body, diseases, viruses, dirt and death (and in particular the corpse) are all elements that are encompassed in the concept of abjection. Manifestations of abjection in the form of the abject mother, abject spaces, abject bodies and the link between abjection and filth are comparatively analysed in the three texts. The thesis concludes by showing that Van Niekerk deliberately inscribes elements of the abject into her texts so as to transgress and deconstruct the norms associated with a patriarchal and racist society in South Africa. Van Niekerk also undermines the norms that underpin such a society: religious indoctrination, gender oppression and Othering. By writing her novel Triomf (1999) in a demotic register, Van Niekerk furthermore questions the prevalent assumptions about what is deemed proper language for writing a novel. Writing, for her, thus serves the purposes of abjecting, of rejecting the impositions of the symbolic order. Following the publication of her first collection of short stories, Die Vrou wat haar verkyker vergeet het [The woman who forgot her binoculars] in 1992, there was general consensus that the baroque nature of the language resulted in reader resistance to the text. This explains why she decided to write her first novel in the crude and obscene language of a low-class family, the Benades of Triomf. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.title Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk en_ZA
dc.type Doctoral Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Languages and Literatures en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Doctoral
dc.type.qualificationname PhD en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Crous, M. L. (2013). <i>Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,School of Languages and Literatures. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10311 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Crous, Matthys Lourens. <i>"Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,School of Languages and Literatures, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10311 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Crous ML. Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,School of Languages and Literatures, 2013 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10311 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Crous, Matthys Lourens AB - In this thesis, three of Marlene van Niekerk's novels, translated from Afrikaans into English, are examined, with the focus on the representation of abjection in the texts under discussion.The theoretical point of departure of this study is Julia Kristeva's essay Powers of horror (1982), which addresses, in particular, the notion of abjection and how certain abject elements play a pivotal role in people's everyday lives. From a psychoanalytic perspective, abjection is viewed as a revolt against the mother and foregrounds particularly the influence of the maternal body over the subject. In this instance, the subject desires liberation from the hold of the maternal and seeks to subject the mother to abjection. Bodily fluids seeping out of the body, diseases, viruses, dirt and death (and in particular the corpse) are all elements that are encompassed in the concept of abjection. Manifestations of abjection in the form of the abject mother, abject spaces, abject bodies and the link between abjection and filth are comparatively analysed in the three texts. The thesis concludes by showing that Van Niekerk deliberately inscribes elements of the abject into her texts so as to transgress and deconstruct the norms associated with a patriarchal and racist society in South Africa. Van Niekerk also undermines the norms that underpin such a society: religious indoctrination, gender oppression and Othering. By writing her novel Triomf (1999) in a demotic register, Van Niekerk furthermore questions the prevalent assumptions about what is deemed proper language for writing a novel. Writing, for her, thus serves the purposes of abjecting, of rejecting the impositions of the symbolic order. Following the publication of her first collection of short stories, Die Vrou wat haar verkyker vergeet het [The woman who forgot her binoculars] in 1992, there was general consensus that the baroque nature of the language resulted in reader resistance to the text. This explains why she decided to write her first novel in the crude and obscene language of a low-class family, the Benades of Triomf. DA - 2013 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2013 T1 - Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk TI - Abjection in the novels of Marlene Van Niekerk UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/10311 ER - en_ZA


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