1887

oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - 'n Ondersoek na die waarde van historiese fiksie : drie geskiedkundige romans in oënskou geneem : geesteswetenskappe

 

Abstract

Talle naslaanwerke vir die literatuurwetenskap (o.a. Van Gorp 1991:180; Cloete 1992:129, 442; Cuddon 1998:383; Abrams 2005:201) omskryf historiese romans as narratiewe tekste wat kreatief omgaan met gebeurtenisse uit die geskiedenis, meestal met die bedoeling om 'n bepaalde tydperk uit die verlede voor die gees te roep, en sê ook dat hierdie tekste gewoonlik fiksionele en/of historiese karakters in verifieerbare historiese omstandighede plaas. Verder poog historiese romans, volgens hierdie naslaanbronne, om die Zeitgeist, politieke gebeure en sosiale omstandighede van 'n spesifieke tydperk, asook die impak daarvan op 'n individu of groep mense, in realistiese besonderhede uit te beeld. Alhoewel dié omskrywing juis is, gaan dit by die geskiedkundige roman oor veel meer as net die oproep van 'n vergange era en die uitbeelding van persone uit 'n spesifieke tydvak. Historiese romans is nie net die herwinning van die verlede nie, maar ook 'n medium waardeur 'n historiese bewussyn by die eietydse leser geskep word om sodoende sin te maak van die hede. Tweedens kan die skryf én lees van historiese romans 'n strategie wees om traumatiese geskiedenis te verwerk en om 'n mens se medepligtigheid in 'n sekere stuk geskiedenis te erken. Derdens is die oproep van die verlede 'n soeke en bevestiging van 'n persoon se identiteit omdat 'n mens met die lees van sulke tekste jou eie plek in die geskiedenis oorweeg en heroorweeg. Vierdens kan die kreatiewe historiografie dien as 'n middel om geskiedkundige feite wat in formele geskiedskrywings verdraai of verswyg is, reg te stel en openbaar te maak. In die vyfde plek kan geskiedkundige romans poog om aspekte (woordeskat, persone, gebeure, gewoontes, ens.) wat dreig om in die vergetelheid te verdwyn, te argiveer. Die vraag waarom eietydse lesers én skrywers hulle met die geskiedenis bemoei, word in hierdie artikel beantwoord deur die funksies van historiese romans aan die hand van drie geskiedkundige romans met die Anglo-Boereoorlog as tema te ondersoek, naamlik Ingrid Winterbach se (2002), P.G. du Plessis se (2008) en Sonja Loots se (2011a).


The question why contemporary writers of fiction concern themselves with history is answered in this article by investigating the importance of historical fiction by means of analysing three prominent Afrikaans historical novels about the Anglo-Boer War: Ingrid Winterbach's (To hell with Cronjé), P.G. du Plessis's (Feast of the uninvited) and Sonja Loots's (Circus Boers).
Literary critics distinguish between historical writing or historiography on the one hand and historical fiction on the other. Historiography is considered to be the scientific recording of history, while historical fiction is seen as the creative adaptation of historical material. It became evident from this study, however, that historical truth and literary truth need not be opposing entities, but could rather be seen as complementing each other. It is not only history-as-science which plays an important part in ensuring the future of our past, but also literature. The study of literary works can indeed be of great value in our understanding of history.
Literary theorists (e.g. Van Gorp 1991:180; Cloete 1992:129, 442; Cuddon 1998:383; Abrams 2005:201) define the historical novel as a form of fictional narrative which reconstructs history and recreates it imaginatively by either portraying a single historical event or depicting a broader view of a past society in which great events are reflected by their impact on the lives of individuals. Although this definition is accurate, historical fiction has far greater significance than the mere evocation of a past age and its people. This genre is not a regurgitation of history, but a medium through which a historical consciousness is created in the contemporary reader to make sense of present circumstances. The writing and reading of historical narratives can also be a strategy to process traumatic history and to admit one's complicity in a certain part of (unfavourable) history. The fictional recapturing of history is, furthermore, a search for and confirmation of a person's identity because with the reading of these texts one tends to consider and reconsider one's own place in history. Creative historiography can also serve as a means to rectify distorted facts and reveal concealed history. In addition, historical novels attempt to archive disappearing (often archaic) expressions, vocabulary, folklore, traditions, folk songs, customs and even forgotten historical figures.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/litnet/10/1/EJC137965
2013-03-01
2016-12-07
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error