Weerskante van die slot: semiosfere in Etienne van Heerden se 'In stede van die liefde (2005)'
Du Plooy, Heilna
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In this article the ending of In stede van die liefde by Etienne van Heerden is regarded as pivotal in the interpretation of the novel. It is argued that the main character, Christian, who is always travelling and crossing boundaries in a literal and figurative sense, is a postmodernist character who is at home in different worlds because he is able to assume different identities. Yuri Lotman's concept of the semiosphere, which refers to spaces in which meaningful cultural communication can take place on account of shared codes and systems of meaning, is used to discuss the spaces which are occupied by the characters in the novel. The suggestion is put forward that there is a limit to Christian's ability to keep up his "nomadic" lifestyle while trying to care for his family as well. He has to make a choice and this choice, determined by his love for his wife and son, is investigated as a turning point in the lives of the characters and also as a comment on the postmodern view of life. It is suggested that postmodernist textual strategies are used in the novel to undermine postmodernist assumptions.
- Faculty of Humanities