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Verskyningsvorme van estetisisme en dekadensie in Sy kom met die sekelmaan en Kaapse rekwisiete

M. Grobbelaar

Literator; Vol 16, No 1 (1995), 51-66. doi: 10.4102/lit.v16i1.584

Submitted: 30 April 1995
Published:  30 April 1995


Manifestations of aestheticism and decadence in Sy kom met die sekelmaan and Kaapse rekwisiete
This article offers a new perspective on the novels of two well-known Afrikaans authors, namely Hettie Smit's Sy kom met die sekelmaan (1937) and Wilma Stockenstrom's Kaapse rekwisiete (1987). Both literary works are read within the framework of late nineteenth-century Western European and British aestheticism and decadence. Characteristic elements of aesthetic and decadent literature, such as an emphasis on artificiality - especially the tendency towards the fictionalization of reality narcissism, sexual perversity, and the utilization of a flowery style are identified in both novels. Stockenstrum 's novel can, however, also be read from a feminist point of view, as is already indicated by the fact that everything is seen through the eyes d f a female character, and by the negative projection of male characters and heterosexual relationships. Lefebvre's Jungian-based search for the Self is a further indication of the feminist character of this novel, as the psychological views of Jung with his accent on identity and individualisation form a myth in its own way in feminist literature.

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Author affiliations

M. Grobbelaar, Departement Afrikaans, Universiteit Vista, Port Elizabeth-kampus, South Africa



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