Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

The Sentence as Narrative Code in "Die Uur Van Die Idiote" ("the Hour of the Idiots") by Abraham H. De Vries/Die Sin as Narratiewe Kode in "Die Uur Van Die Idiote" Deur Abraham H. De Vries

Academic journal article Literator: Journal of Literary Criticism, comparative linguistics and literary studies

The Sentence as Narrative Code in "Die Uur Van Die Idiote" ("the Hour of the Idiots") by Abraham H. De Vries/Die Sin as Narratiewe Kode in "Die Uur Van Die Idiote" Deur Abraham H. De Vries

Article excerpt

Abstract

This article focuses on the following aspects of syntax in "Die uur van die idiote" by Abraham H. de Vries: word and phrase repetition, enumeration, omission (ellipsis), word order, rhythm, length and composition, and sound repetition. Through word and phrase repetition the ironic situation in which the characters find themselves is made relevant, as weft as their frustration and mutual powerlessness. Enumeration also is an agent of irony, more specifically irony created by the contrast between material fullness and existential emptiness, as weft as of the fact that the characters are consumer items inside a metaphorical prison in which there is a lack of humaneness. Through ellipsis the disillusionment of the central character is communicated, as well as the enigmatically uncertain relationship between him and his wife, contrasting with her conviction that love is still possible between them. It also demonstrates the objectification of the human being. Change in word order is connected to the paradigm of dehumanisation, but also indicates the conviction that existential fiberation is after all possible. This also leads to a climax. Rhythm communicates the themes of irony and existential bewilderment. It also serves as an emotional code for the existential crisis of the characters. Sentence length and composition emphasise a disturbed relationship, existential imprisonment and the sometimes helpless cynicism of the central character. Through sound repetition the reader's attention is focused on concepts that are important for the meaning of the story.

Opsomming

In hierdie artikel word gefokus op die volgende aspekte van die sinshantering in "Die uur van die idiote" deur Abraham H. de Vries: woord- en fraseherhaling, enumerasie, weglating (ellips), woordorde, ritme, lengte en samestelling, en klankherhaling. Deur herhaling word die ironiese situasie waarin drie karakters hulle bevind, gereleveer, asook hulle frustrasie en wedersydse magteloosheid. Enumerasie staan eweneens in diens van die ironie, meer bepaald ironie wat geskep word deur die teenstelling tussen materiele volheid en eksistensiele leegheid, asook van die feit dat die karakters verbruiksartikels is binne 'n metaforiese tronk waarin daar gebrek aan medemenslikheid is. Deur ellips word die sentrale karakter se ontnugtering gekommunikeer, asook die enigmaties-onsekere verhouding tussen hom en sy vrou, maar daarteenoor ook haar oortuiging dat fiefde tog nog tussen hulle moontlik is. Verdet demonstreer dit die versaakliking van die mens. Woordordewysiging sluit aan by die paradigma van ontmensliking, maar dui ook op die oortuiging dat eksistensiele bevryding tog moontlik is. Dit Ioop ook uit op 'n klimaks. Ritme staan in diens van die temas van ironie en eksistensiele ontreddering. Dit dien ook as emosionele kode vir die karakters se eksistensiele krisis. Sinslengte en -samestelling releveer 'n versteurde verhouding, asook eksistensiele gebondenheid; verder ook die soms magtelose sinisme van die sentrale karakter. Deur klankherhaling word die leser se aandag gevestig op begrippe wat vir die strekking van die verhaal belangnk is.

1. Inleiding

Terwyl daar in die poesieteorie deeglik gefokus word op die vers en strofe as basiese strukturele segmente van die gedig, is daar in die narratologie wat die ooreenkomstige segmente in die prosateks, naamlik die sin en die paragraaf, betref 'n verbasende stilswye. 'n Uitsondering hierop is Hans du Plessis se lemma sintaksis (van die prosa) in Literere terme en teoriee (Cloete, 1992:493-495), waarin hy verklaar: "... sintaktiese analise van die literere teks op grond van die wetenskaplike linguistiese feite lewer 'n wesenlike bydrae tot die uiteindelike literere interpretasie van 'n teks". Du Plessis vestig verder die aandag op die volgende aspekte van 'n sintaktiese benadering van die literere teks: die beskrywing van die sinstruktuur sal ook vereistes van die kommunikatiewe struktuur, soos temakeuse, topiek, vooronderstelling, spreker-hoorder-konvensies, voor- en agtergrond, ensovoorts in berekening bring. …

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