2004
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X

Abstract

THE 'GENUINE' HISTORICAL NOVEL AND THE 'GENUINE' SCOTTIAN EPIC POEM IN 'MODERN TIMES'

For over a century, it has been taken for granted that David Jacob van Lennep's (1827) inaugurated the historical novel as a specific literary genre in the Netherlands. The historical epic is supposed to have benefited similarly. In this article I inquire whether the conventional separation between historical novels and epics before and after 1827 does in fact rest on objective and tangible characteristics of these works. If we were to examine the entire corpus of historicising literature between 1780 and 1940, would we or would we not encounter a continuous developmental line? A preliminary investigation of some specific cases suggests that, as a genre, the historical epic has vanished completely, whereas the historical novel remained as vital as before up to World War II. Its objective, however, was no longer the re-enactment of the past but the dissolution of the separation between past and present.

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2017-01-01
2021-11-28
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