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Koers

On-line version ISSN 2304-8557
Print version ISSN 0023-270X

Abstract

KOSTOPOULOS, C.. "In order to breathe": Transformative mimesis as a condition for commitment in the poetry of Antjie Krog. Koers (Online) [online]. 2011, vol.76, n.4, pp.687-707. ISSN 2304-8557.

Committed writing makes salient a type of relationship between text, reality and reader which presupposes mimesis. Mimesis is, however, a seemingly outdated concept in literary aesthetics. Therefore, it is necessary to rehabilitate mimesis conceptually in order to account for actual literary commitment. This rehabilitation can be done via Paul Ricoeur's theory of a threefold mimesis, also known as mimetic arc. The mimetic arc allows a view of mimesis that privileges neither aesthetic autonomy nor aesthetic heteronomy. Thereby the power of art to influence society is preserved without compromising its unique aesthetic goals and characteristics. The threefold mimetic process consequently points towards a transformative mimesis, which acts as the condition for the possibility of literary commitment itself. The principles of transformative mimesis are present in the poetry of Antjie Krog in a salient and enlightening way, making her poetry exemplary committed art.

Keywords : aesthetic; autonomy; commitment; mimesis Ricoeur.

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