Mens-plant-verbintenisse in die sideboard (2014) van Simon Bruinders
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Die sideboard (2014), Simon Bruinders's first novel, is about Abraham de Bruin who grows vegetables on his mother's rented plot near George in 1939. His dream of owning land is crushed by the political system of the time. An interesting aspect of the novel is the role that Abraham's farming with vegetables, even on a small scale, plays in his life. It becomes clear that the crops Abraham grows have a much more profound influence on his psyche than on his income. The portrayal of nuanced or meaningful relations with plants is rare in Afrikaans narratives. The influence of plants as portrayed in Die sideboard involves a form of positive contribution to Abraham's (and later his whole family's) life and well-being, on a psychological level as much as regarding their physical needs. Relational aspects emerge that highlight the importance of plants to people in a way that's different from the anthropocentric perspective of nature's being a passive servant of man. This novel offers fertile ground to explore the real roles given to man and plant.
- Faculty of Humanities 
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