Original Research

Die engel op die vlaktelandskap

G. A. Jooste
Literator | Vol 19, No 1 | a510 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v19i1.510 | © 1998 G. A. Jooste | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1998 | Published: 26 April 1998

About the author(s)

G. A. Jooste, Departement Afrikaans, Universiteit Vista, Port Elizabeth-kampus, South Africa

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Thie angel on the plains
This article about Die uur van die engel (Karel Schoeman, 1995) examines relationship between the inhabitants of the barren Free State and its landscape. Most people are limited by a "horizontal" approach to life; they are unable to fulfil their desires. The novel reveals a reason why some people find peace in such an inhospitable landscape while others seem to find merely temporary success in terms of possessions or power, but vanish from the landscape with hardly a trace left behind. This article contends that the angel, as a "vertical" factor, makes the real difference. The presence of the angel invites a symbolic reading of relationships with the landscape, in that the novel presents the angel with all its assosiations of mercy (as a manifestation of a suggested secret). This view opens the possibility for an ending that contains a healing message: life is after all, possible on the barren plains of Africa because of a spiritual approach.


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