Destabilisering van heteronormatiwiteit ten opsigte van homoseksualiteit, vigs en dood in queer narratiewe
Van der Merwe, Joanette
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In this dissertation the connection that is assumed between homosexuality and death in Western culture is investigated. The way in which this connection manifests in terms of a heteronormative aids discourse in literary works with homosexuality and aids as themes, is examined in view of queer theory. Three novels are identified as queer readings of a heteronormative aids discourse, namely Ek stamel en sterwe (1996) by Eben Venter, In the city of shy hunters (2001) by Tom Spanbauer and Het derde huwelijk (2006) by Tom Lanoye. The extensive terrain of queer theory is investigated with specific focus on the underlying poststructuralist and deconstructive principles which are specifically concerned with the nature and function of language and sign systems. Consequently, queer theory is circumscribed in order to serve as theoretical instrument with which to determine the undermining operation of literary works. With regard to poststructuralist ideas in queer theory, the aids epidemic, together with social and cultural reaction to it, is read and analysed as discourse. Using principles of queer theory, the heteronormative aids discourse is analysed with regard to preconceived notions pertaining to homosexuality, aids and death. With the discussion of queer theory and a heteronormative aids discourse as basis, the three novels are discussed and analysed. The novels? representations of homosexuality and aids are discussed, together with the way in which the novels make use of queer strategies to undermine a heteronormative aids discourse. It is shown that the novels supply queer representations of aids and aids patients, which resist heteronormative assumptions about biological sex and sexual identity. The novels accentuate the role of language and the performative function and nature of language, and bring to light the process of heteronormative signification. The novels also expose the inherent instability, incoherency and artificiality of a heteronormative discourse by applying queer strategies like creative appropriation and resignification, teatralisation, revelation and demystification to the components of the discourse.
- Humanities