Concepts of life and death, time and self-denial are investigated in the poetry of Breyten Breytenbach, with specific reference to the similarities and differences between the Judeo-Christian and the Buddhist traditions. Biblical references in the poetry are examined, and their underlying concepts compared to related concepts in Tantric Buddhism and Zen-Buddhism. The conclusion is drawn that the biblical concepts are transposed in the poetry in order to create Buddhist concepts of life and death, time and form of self-denial. De-sacralisation of the Christian concepts is inevitable in this creative process. The primary intention of the author is not de-sacralisation, but the implementation of the Buddhist philosophy of life in which everything is experienced as totally one. A comparison between the reconstructed intended reader of Breytenbach’s poetry and elements of the Afrikaans reading public suggests that political comment on segregated South African society is intended. Breytenbach’s poetry is compared to canonized Afrikaans poetry with respect to Buddhist influence, national protest, aspiration to holiness and transposed biblical concepts. The conclusion is that his poetry is highly innovative in these respects. In the broader spectrum of South African literature his poetry is compared, with reference to transposed biblical concepts and national protest, to the poetry of black poets writing in English, and (where material is available) to those writing in Afrikaans. Breytenbach’s poetry is strongly linked to this poetry. The complexity of Breytenbach’s poetry, and the advanced aesthetic level and linguistic code required of the intended reader determine his placing within the canon of Afrikaans poetry.
|Subject 2||Afrikaans Literature|
|Alternative Title||Aspects of the Judaic Christian and the Bhuddistic in the poetry of Breyten Breytenbach|
|Degree Type||Doctoral degree|