Denying history or defying History? John Fowles’s <i>A maggot</i> and the postmodernist novel

Literator. 1991;12(3):1-12 DOI 10.4102/lit.v12i3.770


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Literator

ISSN: 0258-2279 (Print); 2219-8237 (Online)

Publisher: AOSIS

Society/Institution: The Literator Society

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Languages and literature of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania: African languages and literature

Country of publisher: South Africa

Language of fulltext: English, Afrikaans

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M. Marais (Potchefstroom University, Vaal Triangle Campus)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 12 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This paper takes issue with accusations that postmodernist fiction neglects or refuses to engage with history. I offer a reading of John Fowles’s A maggot which demonstrates how postmodernist novels, by way of a self-reflexive interrogation of their own narrative foundation, contest history’s master status and expose the latter’s similar dependence on narrative modes of totalizing representation. Such a demystification process, I maintain, prompts a recognition of the provisional status of history as a human construct, thus undermining its power of totalization and opening it up to rewriting.