Spoke, liefde en geslagsgebaseerde geweld in “Die bouval op Wilgerdal”

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16071

Keywords:

Die Spreeus, emotional violence, gender-based violence (GBV), Gothic, ghost story, Langenhoven, physical violence, psychic violence, sexual violence, stalking

Abstract

The portrayal of gender-based violence is present in all genres of prose, including the ghost story. There is currently a lack of research regarding gender-based violence portrayed in Afrikaans ghost stories in literature as well as in film and television. Alongside the acknowledged forms of gender-based violence (physical and non-physical abuse), I argue that an additional level of violence, namely psychic violence, is used in the ghost story to amplify the horror and impact of gender-based violence. To illustrate this psychic form of violence, I compare the portrayal of the character Emmie in the classic Afrikaans ghost story “Die bouval op Wilgerdal” (The Wilgerdal Ruins) by C. J. Langenhoven (1924) with her portrayal in the 2019 adaptation of Langenhoven’s short story for two episodes of the television series Die Spreeus (The Starlings). Emmie is haunted by both the ghost of her deceased beloved, Petrus, and the ghost of her stalker, Frans, who possessed Petrus’s body at the moment of his death. Where Emmie was moved to the background to deal with her trauma in silence and solitude in Langenhoven’s short story, she is put front and centre in Die Spreeus when her strange situation is investigated by the police as a case of domestic violence. The depiction of Emmie and this investigation casts a harsh light on the continuous plight of female victims of domestic violence, including revictimization, ongoing physical and emotional violence, victim blaming and gaslighting.

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Author Biography

Mariëtte van Graan, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

Mariëtte van Graan is senior lektor in Departement Afrikaans en Algemene Literatuurwetenskap, aan die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika, Pretoria, Suid-Afrika.

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Published

2024-07-04

How to Cite

van Graan, M. (2024). Spoke, liefde en geslagsgebaseerde geweld in “Die bouval op Wilgerdal”. Tydskrif Vir Letterkunde, 61(1), 114–125. https://doi.org/10.17159/tl.v61i1.16071

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Research articles

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