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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social History, Literary History, and Historical Fiction in South Africa
Author:Green, Michael
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
historical novels (form)
History and Exploration
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Abstract:This article on the relationship between literature and history begins by looking at the importance of narrative for the coming into being of a 'new' nation like South Africa. It then considers narrative in relation to discourses of history and fiction. Looking at the oppositions set up by writers like J.M. Coetzee to the current dominant mode of history writing in South Africa, the author considers the ways in which such debates foreground the appropriative nature of totalizing forms such as narrative. Moving on to the genre of historical fiction - the mode in which the discourses of history and fiction are usually considered to be at their most intimate -, the author argues for a new definition of the historical novel, one which can resist the tendency to take over the past. Against this model of historical fiction he evaluates historical discourse in South Africa. Bibliogr., sum.