Breyten Breytenbach's "Middle World" : the "Middle World as diaspora, identity, and consciousness"

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dc.contributor.advisor Burger, Willie
dc.contributor.postgraduate Grobler, Marel
dc.date.accessioned 2016-02-16T06:14:15Z
dc.date.available 2016-02-16T06:14:15Z
dc.date.created 2016-04-06
dc.date.issued 2016 en_ZA
dc.description Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2016. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Summary: The concept “Middle World” in Breytenbach’s work is a metaphor for an inter-cultural space in our increasingly globalized world. This space moves beyond a mere geographical position to encompass identity formation. This concept also takes shape within the context of literary theory and the interpretations of artistic creations.The “Middle World” and the possible implications of this concept for literary studies will be investigated. The infinitely complex concept of the “Middle World” will be explored by utilizing some of the theoretical insights from a post-structuralist approach, some notions from postcolonial theory, and by looking at the process of consciousness formation through metaphorical triggers and sensory experiences. The main theorist against which Breytenbach’s “Middle World” will be read is Homi Bhabha, and his references to the location of culture in an increasingly globalized world. He investigates the situation by looking at mimicry, hybridity, ‘unhomeliness’, history versus historicity, and the time lapse before signs become symbols in the space of negotiation between the self and the Other. Diaspora studies done by Bhabha, Cohen, Boehmer, Appadurai, Parry, and Said will be contrasted and explored to determine the extent to which “Middle World” add to the existing discourse. In looking at the relevance of the post-structural view, work that has already been done by various critics will be taken into account: Louise Viljoen, Grobler, Dimitriu, Anker, Hein Viljoen, Sienaert, Ampie Coetzee, Burger – to name but a few. Breytenbach’s work will also be viewed from within the assertions of Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Kristeva, and others. In looking at the genealogy of the “Middle World”, the evolution of the concept from “No Man’s Land” with its related aspects (exile, incarceration, the philosophical and political implications) are explored in order to establish the nature of “Middle World”, which does not designate a specific place or space or nationality. “Middle World” as socio-economic and political alternative to globalization is discussed, as well as the relevance of “Middle World” as a theoretical spring-board from which to interpret Breytenbach’s work. Seeing that Breytenbach’s work cannot be interpreted from a single vantage point, “Middle World” and the fluidity of identity, space, and time, may prove to be useful in this regard. Finally, “Middle World” could also serve as metaphor of consciousness formation and thus be a guideline with which to ‘read’ (subversive) art. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract Opsomming: Die konsep “Middelwêreld” in Breytenbach se werk is ‘n metafoor vir die interkulturele ruimte in ‘n toenemend globaliserende wêreld. Hierdie ruimte beweeg wyer as die blote geografiese gesitueerdheid daarvan, en omvat uiteindelik ook die vorming van identiteit. Hierdie konsep neem vorm aan binne die konteks van literêre teorie en het implikasies vir die interpretasie van kunsskeppings. Die oneindig komplekse konsep van die “Middelwêreld” sal ontgin word deur sommige teoretiese insigte vanuit die poststrukturalistiese benadering te gebruik, sowel as sommige postkoloniale idees, en deur die proses van bewussynsvorming te ondersoek - met die verbandhoudende metaforiese en sensoriese snellers as vertrekpunt. Die hoofteoretikus teen wie Breytenbach se “Middelwêreld” ingespeel gaan word is Homi Bhabha, en wel deur die gebruikmaking van sy verwysinge na die plek waar kultuur gesitueer is in ‘n toenemende globaliserende wêreld. Hy ondersoek hierdie situasie deur na mimiek, hibriditeit, ‘unhomeliness’ (die verdwyning van ‘n tuiste), en geskiedenis teenoor historisiteit te kyk; én na die gaping in tydsverloop tussen die vorming van tekens en die identifikasie van hulle verwante simbole binne die spasie van onderhandeling tussen die self en die Ander. Diasporastudies gedoen deur Bhabha, Cohen, Boehmer, Appadurai, Parry, en Said sal gekontrasteer en ondersoek word ten einde die mate waartoe die “Middelwêreld” tot die bestaande diskoers bydra te bepaal. In ‘n poging om die relevansie van die poststrukturele oogpunt te bepaal, sal die werk wat reeds deur verskeie kritici gedoen is in ag geneem word: Louise Viljoen, Dimitriu, Anker, Hein Viljoen, Sienaert, Ampie Coetzee, Burger – om maar ‘n paar te noem. Breytenbach se werk sal ook vanuit die raamwerk van sekere stellings deur Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Kristeva, en andere beskou word. Met die ondersoek van die genealogie van die “Middelwêreld”, sal die konsep van “Niemandsland” met die verbandhoudende aspekte (ballingskap, gevangenisskap, die filosofiese en politiese implikasies) ontgin word, met die doelwit om die aard van “Middelwêreld” – wat nie ‘n spesifieke plek of ruimte of nasionaliteit aandui nie - te bepaal. “Middelwêreld” as ‘n sosio-ekonomiese en politieke alternatief vir globalisering word bespreek, sowel as die relevansie van “Middelwêreld” as ‘n teoretiese vertrekpunt waarvandaan Breytenbach se werk geinterpreter kan word. Siende dat Breytenbach se werk nie vanaf ‘n enkele uitkykpunt beskou kan word nie, mag die “Middelwêreld” en die vloeibaarheid van identiteit, ruimte, en tyd nuttig wees in hierdie verband. Uiteindelik sal “Middelwêreld” ook gebruik word as ‘n metafoor vir bewussynsvorming en dus dien as ‘n riglyn by die ‘lees’ van (subversiewe) kunsvorme.
dc.description.availability Unrestricted en_ZA
dc.description.degree MA
dc.description.department Afrikaans en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Grobler, M 2016, Breyten Breytenbach's "Middle World" : the "Middle World as diaspora, identity, and consciousness", MA Dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd <http://hdl.handle.net/2263/51391>
dc.identifier.other A2016
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2263/51391
dc.language.iso en en_ZA
dc.publisher University of Pretoria en_ZA
dc.rights ©2016 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria. en_ZA
dc.subject Literature en_ZA
dc.subject UCTD
dc.title Breyten Breytenbach's "Middle World" : the "Middle World as diaspora, identity, and consciousness" en_ZA
dc.type Dissertation en_ZA


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