Original Research

Waardepeilings van die digkuns van C.M. van den Heever

B. Odendaal
Literator | Vol 24, No 1 | a278 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v24i1.278 | © 2003 B. Odendaal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 August 2003 | Published: 01 August 2003

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B. Odendaal, Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Frans, Universiteit van die Vrystaat, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Abstract

Evaluations of the poetry of C.M. van den Heever

This article traces the assessments of the value of the poetic work by the Afrikaans author C.M. van den Heever since the second quarter of the twentieth century. Appreciation of him as poet mainly revolves around his role as transitional figure in the important renewal of Afrikaans poetry in the 1930s, as can be seen from two rather divergent critiques by D.J. Opperman (completed in 1946 and 1952, respectively). An outstanding contribution by Van den Heever in this regard is the introduction of elements of Dutch poetry from around the turn of the nineteenth century to the Afrikaans literary world. A critic such as T.T. Cloete, in an article dating from 1957, convincingly argues that aspects of Van den Heever’s poetic style and technique, which other critics had sometimes judged harshly, are largely functional in co-communicating the specific (passively transcendental) attitude towards life and reality conveyed in Van den Heever’s work. Local and international shifts in the dominant literary approaches, however, have caused singularly confessional poetry – such as the bulk of Van den Heever’s poetic output – to be increasingly marginalised since the mid- 1930s. In this respect he shares the fate of Dutch poet A. Roland Holst, whose poetry was influential in shaping the characteristics of Van den Heever’s.

Keywords

CM Van Den Heevers Poetry Evaluations; Transitional Figure In Afrikaans Poetry Renewal In The 1930s; Introduction Of Elements Of Dutch Poetry; Turn Of 19th Century; Dominant Literary Approaches Shifts; Symbolism In Literature

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