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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751


SMITH, Susan. Landscape endearment as central motive in the poem "tesis in gestapelde sillabeversteuring oor ingebedheid" in Mede-wete (2014) by Antjie Krog. Tydskr. geesteswet. [online]. 2016, vol.56, n.4-2, pp.1213-1226. ISSN 2224-7912.

This article investigates the way in which the closing poem, "tesis in gestapelde sillabe-versteurings oor ingebedheid" in the volume of poetry, Mede-wete (2014) by Antjie Krog becomes central to both the ecopoetic theme and the methodology of emplacement which permeates the text. The central themes of co-humanity, sharing, co-connectivity and co-existence (mede-menslikheid, mede-deelsaamheid and medemens-wees) which are activated by the title, have been the focus of a number of previous investigations (Taljard 2014, Van Vuuren 2014, Hambidge 2014 and Jacobs 2015). The title allows a multi-referential interpretation which includes the nonhuman environment (as indicated by Visagie 2015:229), an aspect which specifically resonates in the last section of the text and in the closing poem. Visagie comments on the multiplicity of synapses, or connections and junctures which are central to the text, also indicating how the translated title of the text, Synapse (2014) emphasises the ideas of conjunction and bridging between two objects.The Other, who is implicitly activated by the title of the Afrikaans text, also includes nonhuman beings and non-living things. This article explores how in the selected text and poem, Krog suspends boundaries between human and nonhuman bodies through an inter- and intra-active modus operandi through which transcorporeality and exchange and interchangeability of roles occur. The obvious meta-textual nature of this section and the intense involvement with language becomes a modus operandi to create "verinniging" (closeness, endearment), not only in the knowing/knowledge of a fellow human being, but also by means of co-being and co-existence within the landscape and natural environment. The long title of the poem includes the word "ingebedheid" (embeddedness, emplacement), in which aspects of co-corporeality and trans-corporeality are already implicated. It closely relates to the theory of emplacement (Buell 2005:65; Smith 2012b:901), described in the Oxford Dictionary as "a structure on or in which something isfirmly placed" and in ecocritical terms defined as being immersed in the physical materiality of place which requires a sensory, emotive and intellectual consciousness from the poet, a so called in-the-body experience (Smith 2012b:902). It also requires attachment to place and alliance to place with the poet. The theoretical framework for the discussion of the poem is ecocriticism and ecopoetics. By using a number of central ecocritical concepts, entanglement, transcorporeality, the strange stranger and estrangement, emplacement, participating imagination and diffraction, the article focuses on the co-nature and co-environment and the way in which these key concepts function in the final poem.

Keywords : Afrikaans poetry; Antjie Krog; Mede-wete; ecocriticism; ecopoetry; emplacement; entanglement; participating imagination; diffraction; transcorporeality; materiality; strange stranger.

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