Lettie Viljoen se gebruik van die ambivalente landskappe van Poussin as leitmotief in Landskap met vroue en slang
Cronje, Hester Fredrika
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In the novel Landscape with women and a snake (free translation) by Lettie Viljoen, the landscape paintings of Baroque artist Nicolas Poussin are used as backdrops and metaphors for the main character, Lena Berg's life and character development. In the novel these landscapes are described as ambivalent, and this ambivalence in the paintings becomes a primary theme in the novel. The main objective of this study is to investigate the use of Poussin's ambivalent paintings in this specific literary work. During the research it was, however, also necessary to refer to the works of other Baroque artists like Bernini, Gentileschi and "v'elasquez because their works also feature in Viljoen's novel. The paintings of the baroque as used in a distinctly postmodern novel demand a new and postmodern way of thinking and research. Thus, regarding the theoretical investigation method, the research turns to both the theories of art historians Erwin Panofsky, Wilenski and Wolfflin; and of literary critics, philosophers and theorists Jurij Lotrnan and Mieke Bal. Panofsky's iconographical model for artwork analysis and Lotman's model of binary oppositions were used as the main theoretical points of departure. The importance of, and the reference to "landscape", in the novel as well as in Poussin's painterly oeuvre, lie at the centre of the research. Landscape, as a space experienced by man is intimately linked in this novel to the development and the experiences of the main character, Lena. "Landscape", however, also has connotations with "space" and "place". These terms are therefore fairly copiously dealt with in the research. The importance of the landscape, space and place in the shaping of human identity, in this specific case the character Lena's identity, is investigated in chapter three of the research. The novel, as an example of a postmodern work, cleverly combines the fine arts and literature. This leads to a collage-like book that relies heavily on the reader's knowledge of both the fine arts and the literature. This research attempts to offer yet another way of looking at the "literary collage" of Viljoen, by combining the theory and history of art and the theory of literature to ultimately find another key to the mystery of creation.
- Humanities