Original Research

Wildernis en woestyn: omgewingskragte teen die mens s’n in Boendoe en Toewaaisand

S. Meyer
Literator | Vol 27, No 1 | a179 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v27i1.179 | © 2006 S. Meyer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 July 2006 | Published: 30 July 2006

About the author(s)

S. Meyer, Fakulteit Opvoedingswetenskappe, Potchefstroomkampus, Noordwes-Universiteit, South Africa

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Wilderness and desert: environmental forces against man’s in Boendoe and Toewaaisand

In Chris Barnard’s “Boendoe” (1999) and Christoffel Coetzee’s “Toewaaisand” (2003), the relationship between man and nature is stressful. This article investigates the nature and intensity of the characters’ experience of and reaction to geographical isolation and natural environmental crises and forces in the novels. In both novels evidence of heightened interdependency between the characters is found, but also a degradation of social and communication skills and disillusionment regarding the inability to create and maintain meaningful relationships. Surrounding environmental circumstances and events lead to trauma and exhaustion in the characters from “Boendoe” and experiences of the disruption of life, isolation and estrangement of loved ones in “Toewaaisand”. Findings from within psychology are applied in this article to conjoin the experiences of characters and individual narratives with the general, human inclination to indicate relevance within the reader’s life. In both novels the influence of natural environmental factors is related to the development of liminal fields of experience. The characters experience the phases of “separation” and “limen” in Turner’s transformation model, but this is not followed by the experience of “reincorporation”. Opposed to the creativity that is usually linked with liminality, in these novels a destructive process is taking place: liminality without a hopeful or constructive prospect.


Chris Barnard; Boendoe; Christoffel Coetzee; Toewaaisand; Influence Of Natural Environment; Liminality; Stress Man And Nature


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1. Ecocritical Concerns in Select Afrikaans Narrative Works: Critical Perspectives
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doi: 10.1080/02564718.2021.1997169