2004
Volume 60, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729

Abstract

Abstract

Imagology studies the representation of national identities in (literary) texts, but is usually limited to a cultural-historical and intertextual focus. Hence the textual, ‘aesthetic function’ of literature is often neglected. In this article we argue that the textual analysis of literary techniques, specifically metafiction, can be a useful theoretical impulse for the premises of imagology. This proposed focus also does more justice to (metafictional) literature’s critical capacities regarding the representation of national identities and ‘the other’. This ‘textual’ form of imagology, focused on metafiction, will be applied to the literary representation of a specific European region, the Balkans, in [] (2009) by Manon Uphoff. This novel deals with a love affair between a Dutch woman and a man who fled his native country in response to the violent conflicts that resulted from the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990’s. The representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina in could be typified as stereotypical or balkanist discourse – a view that was articulated by reviewer Elsbeth Etty in the national paper . We will argue, however, that the self-referential elements of Uphoffs novel have (self-)critical potential with regard to its balkanist representation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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2022-04-01
2022-05-21
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