Karakters en betoog in André P. Brink se Gerugte van reën

  • Wium van Zyl Nederlandse en Afrikaanse letterkunde, Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland, Bellville, South Africa
Keywords: André Brink, Rumours of Rain, characterisation, Afrikaner nationalism, André P. Brink, Gerugte van reën, karakterisering, Afrikaner-nasionalisme

Abstract

Characters and contention in Gerugte van reën (Rumours of Rain) [Afrikaans]
Gerugte van reën (Rumours of Rain, 1978) is one of André Brink's notorious political novels on apartheid and Afrikaner Nationalism. This essay focuses on the rhetorical processes in the novel and particularly on the use of characterisation as a vehicle for the implied author's ideology. Rhetorically the novel is aimed at Afrikaans readers – previously mostly “Afrikaners” – and they get to choose between two ideological models, two distinct contrasting expressions of being an Afrikaner: Martin Mynhardt versus Bernard Franken. The “progressive” Nationalist Mynhardt – under the surface greedy, egotistical and corrupt – functions as a verligte (enlightened) critical voice against traditional Afrikaner rule, although the author turns him into an unreliable narrator that betrays his political and personal principles. Franken, on the other hand, is presented as an alternative Afrikaner prototype, almost without blemish. He is self-sacrificing, actively engaged against apartheid and altruistic. The reader is left with little choice but to choose between these opposite expressions of being an Afrikaner.
Key Words: André Brink, Rumours of Rain, characterisation, Afrikaner nationalism.
Karakters en betoog in André P. Brink se Gerugte van reën
Gerugte van reën (1978) is een van André P. Brink se berugte politieke romans oor apartheid en Afrikaner-nasionalisme. Hierdie artikel konsentreer op die retoriese prosesse in die roman en in besonder die gebruik van karakterisering as 'n voertuig vir die geïmpliseerde skrywer se ideologie. Retories gesien is die boek in die eerste plek op Afrikaanslesendes – indertyd meesal “Afrikaners” – gerig. En hulle kry dus die kans om te kies tussen twee ideologiese rolmodelle, twee duidelik teenstellende uitdrukkings van Afrikaner-wees: Martin Mynhardt teen Bernard Franken. Die progressiewe Nasionalis Mynhardt – hebsugtig, selfsugtig en korrup – funksioneer as 'n verligte kritiese stem teen die tradisionele Afrikaner regeringsmentaliteit, alhoewel die outeur hom 'n onbetroubare verteller maak wat sy politieke en persoonlike beginsels verloën. Franken daarenteen word voorgestel as die alterntiewe Afrikaner-prototipe, byna vlekkeloos. Hy self-opofferend, aktief betrokke teen apartheid en mededeelsaam. Vir die leser is daar min te kies tussen hierdie teenstellings.
Trefwoorde: André P. Brink, Gerugte van reën, karakterisering, Afrikaner-nasionalisme.
Tydskrif vir Letterkunde Vol. 42(1) 2005: 78-91

Published
2005-03-16
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 2309-9070
print ISSN: 0041-476X