Original Research

Denying history or defying History? John Fowles’s A maggot and the postmodernist novel

M. Marais
Literator | Vol 12, No 3 | a770 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v12i3.770 | © 1991 M. Marais | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 May 1991 | Published: 06 May 1991

About the author(s)

M. Marais, Potchefstroom University, Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa

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This paper takes issue with accusations that postmodernist fiction neglects or refuses to engage with history. I offer a reading of John Fowles’s A maggot which demonstrates how postmodernist novels, by way of a self-reflexive interrogation of their own narrative foundation, contest history’s master status and expose the latter’s similar dependence on narrative modes of totalizing representation. Such a demystification process, I maintain, prompts a recognition of the provisional status of history as a human construct, thus undermining its power of totalization and opening it up to rewriting.


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