Original Research

Drought-breaking love: An analysis of the moral values implied in ‘Drought’ by Jan Rabie

C. N. van der Merwe
Literator | Vol 17, No 2 | a595 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v17i2.595 | © 1996 C. N. van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1996 | Published: 30 April 1996

About the author(s)

C. N. van der Merwe, Department of Afrikaans & Netherlands Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa

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In this article the tension in 20th century literary theory between absolutism and relativism is discussed. It is argued that, in spite of a movement from absolutism towards relativism, the age-old “absolute” values of truth, beauty and goodness have never been totally forsaken in the creation and the contemplation of literature. In an analysis of “Drought” by Jan Rabie, it is indicated how these values are implied and invoked in Rabie's short story. In conclusion, the fundamental value of love or charity is discussed, a value which contains and supersedes the values of truth, beauty and goodness, and reconciles the tension between absolutism and relativism.


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