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vol.46 issue2Flags between words as poetical centre pins in Breyten Breytenbach's two volumes, nege landskappe van ons tye bemaak aan 'n beminde and die windvanger"Writing is travelling unfolding it's own landscape.": a discussion withBreyten Breytenbach on A Veil of Footsteps author indexsubject indexarticles search
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    Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

    Print version ISSN 0041-476X


    BURGER, Willie. Language as "entry" into the real world: travel, imagination, memory and identity in Breytenbach's A Veil of Footsteps. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2009, vol.46, n.2, pp. 0-0. ISSN 0041-476X.

    Travelling is a central motive in A Veil of Footsteps (and in Breytenbach's oeuvre). In this work, travelling is a metaphor for imagination. Breytenbach pleads for continual travelling because "the earth needs to be discovered and remembered again and again". Breytenbach suggests that discovery and remembering require imagination. In the first part of this article the dependancy of imagination on language (the "footsteps" of the title) is investigated, using Paul Ricoeur's concept of a "semantic imagination". In the second part of the article three implications of imagination's dependancy on language is identified in A Veil of Footsteps. Firstly the close tie between imagination and memory (the book is described as a memoir); secondly the importance of imagination for identity; and thirdly the need for imagination to enable an ethical response for one's actions, are examined.

    Keywords : Breyten Breytenbach; identity; imagination; memory; travel.

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