Original Research

Postmodernistiese tendense in Magersfontein, o Mogersfonfein! deur Etienne Leroux

M. J. Prins
Literator | Vol 19, No 3 | a561 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v19i3.561 | © 1998 M. J. Prins | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 April 1998 | Published: 30 April 1998

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M. J. Prins, Departement Afrikaans, Universiteit van Fort Hare, Alice, South Africa

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Post-modernist trends in Magersfontein, o Magersfontein! by Etienne Leroux
The aim of this article is to prove that there are trends towards the radicalisation of certain tenets of modernism in Magersfontein, a Magersfontein! (1976) by Etienne Leroux. In the first instance, there are signs of what Brian McHale considers to be typical of postmodernism, namely epistemological uncertainty. Readers of this novel are confronted by a modernist shift from the idea of an objective rendering of an empirical reality towards a focus on the ways in which the individual consciousness p lays an active and projecting part in the formation of images of self and world. This shift is juxtaposed with an investigation into humanity's search of knowledge of the past The shift entails a modernist questioning of the objectivity of historical knowledge, an indication of the partisan way in which history can be dealt with, an emphasis on the relationship between different renderings of history and the legitimising of political power, as a result of which the novel tends towards postmodernism, at least as far as Wesseling's (1991) definition of this trend is concerned. At the same time the novel can be read as a satire on the way in which institutions like the state and the film industry are instrumental in the creation of "realities The images which are projected onto reality are often "prescribed" to the individual consciousness, a motif which is well-known in postmodernist fiction.


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