2004
Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X

Abstract

There is no consensus among literary scholars concerning the delimitation of postmodernism in Dutch and Flemish fiction. More specifically, scholars do not agree about the position of experimental ‘other prose’ and its relationship to the postmodern novel. This article contributes to this on-going debate by offering a comparative analysis of other prose and postmodern fiction. It focuses on the concept of representation: it investigates the ways in which authors of both other prose and postmodern fiction question this concept in their literary works. The problem of representation will be analysed in works by Robberechts, Van Marissing and Vogelaar on the one hand (other prose), and Jongstra, Beurskens and Verhelst on the other hand (postmodern fiction). In both other prose and postmodern fiction literary representation of extratextual reality is felt to be a problematic issue. For authors of other prose the relationship between language and reality poses not just a literary but also an ideological and a political problem. Conventional forms of literary representation are considered to produce false images that need to be destroyed and replaced by alternative forms. Authors of postmodern fiction undermine narrative conventions from within: they make use of paradox and inconsistency to unsettle the narrative framework within which they work. In postmodern fiction, the belief in a position outside of linguistic mediation and in a truthful account of reality can no longer be upheld. In conclusion, it can be said that the concept of representation helps to distinguish other prose from postmodern fiction.

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/content/journals/10.5117/NEDLET2009.3.REPR302
2009-12-01
2021-12-02
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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