Original Research

Postmodernisme: doelgerig of vrolike fuif? 'n Polisieroman en 'n moorddroom

W. Burger
Literator | Vol 15, No 1 | a651 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v15i1.651 | © 1994 W. Burger | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 1994 | Published: 02 May 1994

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W. Burger, Universiteit van Zoelocland, South Africa

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Abstract

The incredulity towards metanarratives in the postmodernist era holds serious implications for historiography. Two "historiographic metafictional novels" (Hutcheon's term), one Flemish and one Afrikaans, are discussed in this article. There is a significant difference in the way these two texts react to ontological doubt. On the one hand there is a celebration of the loss of metanarratives in Het beleg van Laken (Walter van den Broeck). On the other hand this loss is used in a very serious way to undermine existing metanarratives in Kroniek uit die doofpot (John Miles). The joyous humour and celebration in Het beleg van Laken is absent in Kroniek uit die doofpot. It is concluded that some historiographic metafiction frivolously celebrates decentring and the incredulity towards metanarratives. In other historiographic metafiction ontological doubt manifests without humour or celebration and serves to undermine metanarratives. It might he true that the celebration belongs to a late capitalist Western culture whereas it is unsuitable for a developing country.

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