Original Research

Verskyningsvorme van die Simbolisme in die ouer Afrikaanse vertelkuns

H. Roos
Literator | Vol 11, No 1 | a791 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v11i1.791 | © 1990 H. Roos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1990 | Published: 06 May 1990

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H. Roos, Universiteit van Suid-Afrika, South Africa

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As the Symbolist movement has primarily been linked to the poetic mode, the association of symbolism with prose writing, and particularly with traditional Afrikaans prose, raises many questions, From the writings of older critics it appears that whereas they did identify symbolic patterns in the work of contemporaries, the presence of a specific Symbolist influence is either not recognized at all, or played down and evaluated negatively. However, several of the early authors themselves, e.g. Leipoldt, Grosskopf and Marais, referred to, or admitted to being influenced by the great 19th-century Symbolist poets. The most marked example of Symbolist writing is evident in the short stories of Marais (“Die Reënbul”) and Van Melle (Denker kom kyk). In all the cases where the symbolist influence can be traced, several common characteristics are evident: the authors remained outside the mainstream of traditional Afrikaans prose writing, the lyrical tone and a decadent mood dominate, and in these early works signs of the innovative “Sestiger” prose are already evident.


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