Die spore van Raka: Oor herskrywing en kanonisering (Deel 2)

H.P. Van Coller, A. Van Jaarsveld

Abstract


Every literary system possesses a canon with the classical canon as the most stable and simultaneously the one with the most
restrictive access. Writers and texts can only maintain their position within the canon through continuous rewriting: critical
rewriting by literary critics (as shapers of taste and gatekeepers) and creative rewriting by fellow writers. In this study the critical
rewriting (and rerealisation) of one of the most acclaimed and seminal texts in Afrikaans literature, Raka (1941), by N. P. van
Wyk Louw is scrutinized. Since its publication this verse epic has been firmly entrenched in the classical Afrikaans literary canon
and its continuous rewriting / rerealisation can act as a case study of how a literary “masterpiece” is dependent on institutional
relationships, relevant characteristics and strategic position-taking within a literary field in order to retain this status. In this
second and concluding part of this study, the specifics of Raka’s rewriting / rerealisation is discussed utilising two supplementary
typlogies as heuretical tools. In this survey of the rewriting / rerealisation the focus is on the continuallly changing ideological and
poetical paradigms underpinning such processes. Key words: Afrikaans poetry, canonization, N. P. Van Wyk Louw, rewriting,
rerealisation.

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