Original Research

Die vrou in T.T. Cloete se 'toepasslngs van dante'

R. Ward
Literator | Vol 19, No 1 | a509 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v19i1.509 | © 1998 R. Ward | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1998 | Published: 26 April 1998

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R. Ward, Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Universiteit van Stellenbosch, South Africa

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Abstract

Woman in T.T. Cloete’s 'toepasslngs van dante'
In T.T. Cloete's fourth collection of poems, Idiolek (1986), several references are made to the poetry of Dante Alighieri. At the core of this collection are three poems under the heading "toepassings van dante". The first, "Silhoeët van Beatrice", is a description of the outline of Beatrice's naked body. The second poem, "mooi marilyn monroe foto in rooi", is based on a pin-up of Marilyn Monroe posing naked against a backdrop of red velvet. Although these two women are almost exact opposites - Beatrice possessing a divine beauty and an almost Christ-like nature, whereas Marilyn Monroe is portrayed as a dumb blonde and sex symbol of the fifties - the two poems are suspiciously similar in style and content. Both women are portrayed as being fundamentally perfect ("fundamenteel perfek"). In symbolizing the same virtues, they lose their unique and contrasting characteristics, and merge into a symbol of female perfection. Although the third poem, "columbae", does not have the Beatrice/Marilyn Monroe-figure as subject matter, it can be read as dealing with the issue of individuality and uniqueness, thus commenting on the previous two poems.

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