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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:S.V. Petersen in dialoog met sy intellektuele en sosiale omgewing
Author:Willemse, HeinISNI
Periodical:Tydskrif vir letterkunde (ISSN 0041-476X)
Geographic term:South Africa
Afrikaans language
biographies (form)
About person:Sidney Vernon Petersen (1914-1987)ISNI
External link:https://doi.org/10.4314/tvl.v47i2.60622
Abstract:This article examines the intellectual and social context of South African writer Sydney Vernon Petersen (1914-1987) with respect to its dialogical tensions. Three key features of his biography are discussed, namely his position as one of only a few coloured boys in the Union of South Africa to have completed his secondary schooling; his relationship to the small but significant Cape elite; and his ambivalence towards Afrikaans, his language of choice as a poet. The underlying theoretical impulse provides a reading influenced by Bakhtinian notions of dialogism and the reconstruction of the circumstances in which the initial utterings were made. It is found that Petersen's creation of the lonely aesthete is influenced by nineteenth-century notions of Romantic authorship, and the social tensions between the coloured elite and the Cape or rural underclass. In spite of his Afrikaans childhood, academic training and authorship Petersen's ambivalence towards the language was fostered by his insertion into the coloured elite in Cape Town. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English, text in Afrikaans. [Journal abstract]