Original Research

Politieke herskrywings van die Ons(e) Vader-gebed in vier Afrikaanse gedigte

G.C. Engelbrecht, P.H. Foster
Literator | Vol 32, No 2 | a10 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v32i2.10 | © 2011 G.C. Engelbrecht, P.H. Foster | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 June 2011 | Published: 22 June 2011

About the author(s)

G.C. Engelbrecht, Departement Afrikaans & Nederlands, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, South Africa
P.H. Foster, Departement Afrikaans & Nederlands, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

Political rewritings of the Our Father prayer in four Afrikaans poems. The utilisation of religious elements is a prominent trend in Afrikaans poetry − often in service of the political struggle, for example during the apartheid years. In this article four rewritings of the “Our Father” prayer are examined, using Linda Hutcheon’s theory of parody, as discussed in (among others), her pioneering work, “A theory of parody” (2000). For Hutcheon, parody does not necessarily imply ridiculing a previous text. According to her well-known definition, parody is “ironic transcontextualization, is repetition with difference. A critical distance is implied between the backgrounded text being parodied and the new incorporating work, a distance usually signaled by irony.” The rewritings of the “Our Father” by Jan Blom (Breyten Breytenbach), Ronnie Belcher and André Letoit (Koos Kombuis) are distinct examples of ironic inversion, while in Hans du Plessis’s poem (in Griqua Afrikaans) the irony is less obvious and the critique (if any) more subdued. As Hutcheon explains and motivates, parody does not always take place at the expense of the parodied text. Thus the parodical rewritings of the “Our Father” need not necessarily be seen as destructive and belittling of the prayer itself, but as critically constructive vis-à-vis the Christian community.

Keywords

Critique Of Ideology; Our Father Prayer; Palimpsest; Parodying

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