Die paradokse van koherensie in Karolina Ferreira (Lettie Viljoen) en Vincent (Willem Brakman)
Van Schalkwyk, Phillippus Lodewikus
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The Afrikaans novel Karolina Ferreira (1993) by Lettie Viljoen, and Willem Brakman's Dutch novel Vincent (1993) have both been described by critics as ambivalent, unconventional, and disruptive as far as the inner and interactive coherence of these texts is concerned. Both these metatextual novels show coherence to be a paradoxical notion and phenomenon. In this study it is argued that coherence is inherently paradoxical: it is located in both text and reader, text and intertext; it is subjective and intersubjective; process and product; locally and globally established; temporal as well as spatial; present and absent; etc. These paradoxes are always at work in all (verbal) texts, but readers are usually oblivious to this fact. In metatextual works, however, the paradoxes of coherence are often deliberately thematized or fore grounded. In the novels under discussion coherence in its conventional, temporal and linear form is undermined. To be able to cope with the interpretative demands, complexities and disruptiveness, the reader is required to adopt an alternative reading strategy of spatialization combined with a considerable degree of creative text independence, since in the case of these two novels coherence gravitates towards connotative, intertextual dimensions. Firstly coherence is described theoretically. The aim is to provide a general overview of coherence in terms of its inclusivity and interdisciplinary relevance. The factors involved in the construction of coherence are discussed and it is indicated that it is impossible to determine the exact locus of coherence, because of its relativity. Following this, it is attempted to construct possible coherent readings of Karolina Ferreira and Vincent. In both texts narrative is spatialized, either overtly, or in a deeper, hidden narrative dimension. Visual intertexts play an important role in the construction of coherence. It becomes clear that both novels lend themselves to comprehensive coherent readings, albeit in unexpected and paradoxical ways.
- Humanities