Original Research

Afskeid en vertrek as dekadente roman

M. Grobbelaar, H. Roos
Literator | Vol 14, No 2 | a698 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v14i2.698 | © 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 van Suid-Afrika, South Africa

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Abstract

Most of the arguments advanced in negative critical reviews of Karel Schoeman’s latest novel Afskeid en vertrek lose their validity if this novel is evaluated as a decadent text. Firstly, the vagueness regarding the apparently contemporary South African state of war depicted in this novel is in accordance with the decadent vision of the world, which is characterized by a fundamental rejection of reality. In Afskeid en vertrek the negation of an intolerable world takes the form of solipsism, acting and masquerade in an artificial and aestheticised existence, deviation from conventional heterosexual relationships and especially an escape in language. Secondly, critical remarks on the absence of a dynamic development of plot can be invalidated on the grounds that the static character of the novel and the use of images or "static portraits which interrupt the flow of narrative by halting visions" (Nalbantian, 1983:123) are typical stylistic traits of decadent literature.

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