Writing History as a Prophet: Postmodernist Innovations of the Historical Novel

Voorkant
John Benjamins Publishing, 1 jan. 1991 - 218 pagina's
This is a postmodernist history of the historical novel with special attention to the political implications of the postmodernist attitude toward the past.
Beginning with the poetics of Sir Walter Scott, Wesseling moves via a global survey of 19th century historical fiction to modernist innovations in the genre.
Noting how the self-reflexive strategy enables a novelist to represent an episode from the past alongside the process of gathering and formulating historical knowledge, the author discusses the elaboration of this strategy, introduced by novelists such as Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner, in the work of, among others, Julian Barnes, Jay Cantor, Robert Coover and Graham Swift.Wesseling also shows how postmodernist writers attempt to envisage alternative sequences for historical events. Deliberately distorting historical facts, authors of such uchronian fiction, like Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael R. Read, Salman Rushdie and Gunter Grass, imagine what history looks like from the perspective of the losers, rather than the winners.
 

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Inhoudsopgave

I Postmodernism and History
1
II Some Theoretical Deliberations About Genre
17
III The Classical Model of Historical Fiction
27
IV Modernist Experiments With the Historical Novel
67
V Fiction Historical and Scientific
93
VI SelfReflexivity in Postmodernist Historical Fiction
117
VII Alternate Histories
155
Conclusion
193
References
197
INDEX
213
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