“Al half dier”: objekgeoriënteerde ontologieë, gestremdheidstudies en Siegfried (Willem Anker)

Keywords: becoming animal, Deleuze and Guattari, disability studies, object oriented ontologies, Siegfried, Willem Anker

Abstract

Willem Anker’s debut novel, Siegfried, deals with the experiences of the eponymous character, who is mentally disabled and whose hands and feet are webbed. In this article, an attempt is made to investigate how the theories of Deleuze and Guattari, as well as object oriented ontologies, can be used to argue that the representation of the character of Siegfried involves a blurring of the boundaries between the human and the nonhuman. The second aim of this article is to establish whether such a blurring is ethically problematic, given the cruel ways in which people considered less human than others are often treated. Where the first aim is concerned, it is argued that Siegfried’s interaction with the world challenges hegemonic ideas of human subjectivity, especially ideas of what constitutes normal humanity. In the character of Siegfried traces are found of what can be described, in Deleuze and Guattari’s terms, as becomings. These becomings serve as lines of flight from blocked forms of human subjectivity. The boundaries between what is considered human and what is considered nonhuman are therefore indeed blurred. Concerning the second aim, it is argued that the novel can be read as a critique of the ways in which society treats disabled people, and that it can therefore be brought into dialogue with disability studies. The potential for object oriented ontologies to be apolitical (and even unethical, in this respect), is countered in the analysis of the novel by disability studies’ activism and social commentary. 

Author Biography

Bibi Burger, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Bibi Burger het haar doktorale proefskrif aan die Departement Afrikaans en Nederlands van die Universiteit Stellenbosch voltooi.

References

Abram, David. The spell of the sensuous: Perception and language in a more-than-human world. Pantheon, 1996.

Amin, Ash & Nigel Thrift. Cities: Reimagining the urban. Polity, 2002.

Anker, Willem. “Die nomadiese self: skisoanalitiese beskouinge oor karaktersubjektiwiteit in die prosawerk van Alexander Strachan en Breyten Breytenbach”. D Litt, U Stellenbosch, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/1088.

Anker, Willem. “’n Bosluis, Billy the kid en Coenraad de Buys: Die spore van legendes in die veld.” Litnet, 2013.
http://www.litnet.co.za/2013-n-bosluis-billy-the-kid-en-coenraad-de-buys-die-spore-van-legendes-in-die-veld/. Geraadpleeg 25 Mei 2018.

Anker, Willem. Siegfried. Kwela, 2007.

Barendse, Joan-Mari. “’n Kulturele entomologiese ondersoek na insekte in Willem Anker se Siegfried.” Tydskrif vir Letterkunde vol. 54, no. 2, 2017, pp. 74–85. DOI: https://doi.org/10.17159/2309-9070/tvl.v.54i2.1314.
Bertelsen, Lone & Andrew Murphie. “An ethics of everyday infinities and powers. Félix Guattari on affect and the refrain.” The affect theory reader. Reds. Melissa Gregg & Gregory J. Seigworth. Duke U P, 2010, pp. 138–57.
Bryant, Levi R. The democracy of objects. Open Humanities P, 2011.

Cella, Mathey J. C. “The ecosomatic paradigm in literature: Merging disability studies and ecocriticism.” Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment vol. 20, no. 3, 2013, pp. 574–96. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/isle/ist053.

Chaudari, Shamiega. “Stilte en agentskap in die slaweroman Philida van André P. Brink”. LitNet Akademies vol. 14, no. 3, 2017, pp. 66–87. https://www.litnet.co.za/stilte-en-agentskap-die-slaweroman-philida-van-andre-p-brink/.

Deleuze, Gilles. Spinoza: Practical philosophy. Vertaling Robert Hurley. City Lights, 1988.

Deleuze, Gilles & Félix Guattari. Anti-Oedipus. Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Vertaling Robert Hurley, Mark Seem & Helen R. Lane. U of Minnesota P, 2000.

Deleuze, Gilles & Félix Guattari. A thousand plateaus. Vertaling Brian Massumi. U of Minnesota P, 1987.
Dolphijn, Rick & Iris Van der Tuin. New materialism: Interviews and cartographies. Open Humanities P, 2012. http://www.openhumanitiespress.org/books/titles/new-materialism/. Geraadpleeg 31 Jul. 2018.

Dürbeck, Gabriele, Caroline Schaumann & Heather I. Sullivan. “Human and non-human agencies in the anthropocene.” Ecozon@ vol. 6, no.1, 2015, pp. 118–36. http://ecozona.eu/article/view/642/689. Eagleton, Terry. Materialism. Yale U P, 2016.

Feely, Michael. “Disability studies after the ontological turn: A return to the material world without a return to essentialism.” Disability & Society vol. 31, no.7, 2016, pp. 863–83. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2016.1208603.

Grandin, Temple & Catherine Johnson. Animals in translation: Using the mysteries of autism to decode animal behavior. Scribner, 2005. Kindle.

Greyling, Franci. “Sin van plek, ingeplaastheid en bioregionaliteit in ’n kunstenaarsboek-installasie, Mooirivier: Weerspieëling en weerklank.” LitNet Akademies vol. 12, no. 3, 2015, pp. 308–57. http://www.litnet.co.za/sin-van-plek-ingeplaastheid-en-bioregionaliteit-in-n-kunstenaarsboek-installasie-mooirivier-weerspieeling-en-weerklank/.

Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. The phenomenology of mind. 27 Nov. 2017. https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/phindex.htm. Geraadpleeg 31 Jul. 2018.

Keane, Webb. “Signs are not the garb of meaning: On the social analysis of material things.” Materiality. Red. Daniel Miller. Duke U P, 2005, pp. 182–205.

Kristeva, Julia. Powers of horror: An essay on abjection. Columbia U P, 1982.

Mbembe, Achille. “Necropolitics.” Public culture vol. 15, no. 1, 2003, pp. 11–40.

Merleau Ponty, Maurice. Phenomenology of perception. Vertaling Colin Smith. Routledge, 2005.

Meyer, Susan. “Die allesomvattende materiële dimensie van ons bestaan: Aspekte van die nuwe materialisme in Vuurklip van Marié Heese.” LitNet Akademies vol. 12, no. 2, 2015, pp. 69–89. http://www.litnet.co.za/die-allesomvattende-materiele-dimensie-van-ons-bestaan-aspekte-van-die-nuwe-materialisme-in-vuurklip-van-marie-heese.

Meyer, Susan. “Ingeplaaste skryf as vergestalting van ekosentriese ingesteldheid in Petra Müller se verhaalkuns.” Literator vol. 35, no. 2, 2014, pp. 1–12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v35i2.1080.
Mies, Maria. “Self-determination: the end of utopia?” Ecofeminism. Reds. Maria Mies & Vandana Shiva. Zed, 2014, pp. 218–30.

Morton, Timothy. Dark ecology: For a logic of future coexistence. Columbia U P, 2016. Kindle.

Neimanis, Astrida. Bodies of water: Posthuman feminist phenomenology. Bloomsbury, 2017. Epub.

Silberman, Steve. Neurotribes: The legacy of autism and the future of neurodiversity. Avery, 2015.

Smith, Susan. “Ekokritiek en die nuwe materialisme: ’n Ondersoek na die nuwe materialisme in enkele gedigte van Johann Lodewyk Marais uit die bundel In die bloute (2012).” LitNet Akademies vol. 11, no. 2, 2014, pp. 749–74. http://www.litnet.co.za/ekokritiek-en-die-nuwe-materialisme-n-ondersoek-na-die-nuwe-materialisme-in-enkele-gedigte/.

Smith, Susan. “Plek as liggaam en liggaam as plek: Tendense van die nuwe materialisme en interaksie tussen mens en plek in enkele tekste uit Verweerskrif (2006) van Antjie Krog.” LitNet-Akademies vol. 12, no. 2, 2015, pp. 1–24. http://www.litnet.co.za/plek-as-liggaam-en-liggaam-as-plek-tendense-van-die-nuwe-materialisme.

Smith, Susan. “Plek en ingeplaaste skryf. ’n Teoretiese ondersoek na ingeplaaste skryf as
ekopoëtiese skryfpraktyk.” LitNet Akademies vol. 9, no. 3, 2012, pp. 887–928. http://www.litnet.co.za/plek-en-ingeplaaste-skryf-n-teoretiese-ondersoek-na-ingeplaaste-skryf-as-ekopotiese-s/.

Viljoen, Babette. “Fokalisasie en vertelinstansie in die representasie van gestremdheid in geselekteerde Afrikaanse romans.” M.A.-verhandeling, Noordwes-U, 2012. http://hdl.handle.net/10394/9236. Geraadpleeg 31 Jul. 2018.
Views
  • Abstract 116
  • PDF 192
Views and downloads are with effect from 11 January 2018
Published
2019-09-19
Section
Research articles