Original Research

’n Interpretasie van Karel Schoeman se roman, ’n Ander land binne die raamwerk van die laat negentiendeeeuse estetisistiese en dekadente literêre tradisie

M. Grobbelaar, H. Roos
Literator | Vol 14, No 1 | a686 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v14i1.686 | © 1993 M. Grobbelaar, H. Roos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 May 1993 | Published: 03 May 1993

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M. Grobbelaar, Universiteit VISTA (Port Elizabeth), South Africa
H. Roos, Universiteit VISTA (Port Elizabeth), South Africa

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The first motivation for reading Karel Schoeman’s novel ’n Ander land within the framework of late nineteenth century Western European decadcnt literature is the strong resemblance between Schoeman's character Versluis and Des Esseintes, main character of the so-called Bible of Decadence, namely Joris- Karl Huysmans’ A Rebours (1884). Schoeman’s cultivated narrative style, his use of archaic Dutch and French words and the fact that this novel h as 'no story’, confirm the affinity of ’n Ander land with the decadent literary tradition as established by Huysmans’ plotless novel. The ultimate vision communicated in ’n Ander land is that death, like the landscape of Africa, is infinitely empty. The journey of the dying Versluis to Bloemfontein with its emphasis on intense heat and desolation and its affinities with Dante's Divina Commedia can be seen as a symbolic descent into hell, with the suggestion that Versluis will never reach paradise.


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