Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland'

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Pakendorf, Gunther en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Bardien, Faiza en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2016-09-25T16:21:49Z
dc.date.available 2016-09-25T16:21:49Z
dc.date.issued 1988 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Bardien, F. 1988. Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland'. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21877
dc.description Bibliography: pages 186-197. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This dissertation aims to place Hans Grimm's uncompleted epic, Kaffernland, eine deutsche Sage (Kaffraria, a German Legend) within the context of the historical discourse of the nineteenth-century as it has been challenged by presentday critical historiography. Central to Grimm's text is the problematic relationship between fiction and historical reality. It reproduces historical documents and relies on the scientific aura of a bourgeois realist discourse to present itself as having reference to an extra-textual reality. These truth-claims are examined with Roland Barthes' structuralist techniques. I locate Grimm's text within an intertext dominated by the ideologies of German nationalism, colonial space and fate. His portrayal of mid-nineteenth century political questions is shown as a contradictory amalgam of partisanship for both the bourgeoisie and the small peasantry, of romantic anti-capitalism and pro-imperialism. The authoritarian narrative discourse affirms Britain's colonial subjugation of the Xhosa and negates Xhosa resistance. I focus on speaking positions in the text and the power of the colonizer's practice of designating and signifying. The rhetoric of the text is seen as a continuation of politics against Britain's exploitation of the British German Legion and of German missionary work in British Kaffraria. Grimm reproduces and embellishes the mythology of the German Legion as saviours of Kaffraria and Germany. He inverts history to re-make the negative record of the German Military Settlement. I show how mythic signs and a moralizing discourse stimulate an envisaged pre-World War I readership to recognize Kaffraria as a German colony and to reflect on how, in its own times, Germany can be regenerated through acquiring colonial space. The mythological discourse is also viewed in the light of the text's attempts to manifest the external factual reliability and inner truth of bourgeois realism. While Grimm deploys the literary conventions of the modern novel, as an epigone he draws on the forms of legend, saga and epic cultivated in the nineteenth century. He alludes to the Icelandic saga also to legitimize a claim to Xhosaland. This first book of the epic, presented as complete, attains a measure of cohesion through techniques of parallelism and contiguity. The text parallels the fate of the German and Xhosa nations and simultaneously signifies the Xhosa as destroyers of Xhosaland and the cattle-killing movement of 1856-57 as a diabolical plan. I see this mythologization of history as the ideological justification for the expropriation of the Xhosa and show that Grimm's colonialist fiction is in fact a colonizing discourse. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other German Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.title Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland' en_ZA
dc.type Master Thesis
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department German Language and Literature en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Bardien, F. (1988). <i>Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland'</i>. (Thesis). University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,German Language and Literature. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21877 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Bardien, Faiza. <i>"Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland'."</i> Thesis., University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,German Language and Literature, 1988. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21877 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Bardien F. Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland'. [Thesis]. University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,German Language and Literature, 1988 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21877 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Thesis / Dissertation AU - Bardien, Faiza AB - This dissertation aims to place Hans Grimm's uncompleted epic, Kaffernland, eine deutsche Sage (Kaffraria, a German Legend) within the context of the historical discourse of the nineteenth-century as it has been challenged by presentday critical historiography. Central to Grimm's text is the problematic relationship between fiction and historical reality. It reproduces historical documents and relies on the scientific aura of a bourgeois realist discourse to present itself as having reference to an extra-textual reality. These truth-claims are examined with Roland Barthes' structuralist techniques. I locate Grimm's text within an intertext dominated by the ideologies of German nationalism, colonial space and fate. His portrayal of mid-nineteenth century political questions is shown as a contradictory amalgam of partisanship for both the bourgeoisie and the small peasantry, of romantic anti-capitalism and pro-imperialism. The authoritarian narrative discourse affirms Britain's colonial subjugation of the Xhosa and negates Xhosa resistance. I focus on speaking positions in the text and the power of the colonizer's practice of designating and signifying. The rhetoric of the text is seen as a continuation of politics against Britain's exploitation of the British German Legion and of German missionary work in British Kaffraria. Grimm reproduces and embellishes the mythology of the German Legion as saviours of Kaffraria and Germany. He inverts history to re-make the negative record of the German Military Settlement. I show how mythic signs and a moralizing discourse stimulate an envisaged pre-World War I readership to recognize Kaffraria as a German colony and to reflect on how, in its own times, Germany can be regenerated through acquiring colonial space. The mythological discourse is also viewed in the light of the text's attempts to manifest the external factual reliability and inner truth of bourgeois realism. While Grimm deploys the literary conventions of the modern novel, as an epigone he draws on the forms of legend, saga and epic cultivated in the nineteenth century. He alludes to the Icelandic saga also to legitimize a claim to Xhosaland. This first book of the epic, presented as complete, attains a measure of cohesion through techniques of parallelism and contiguity. The text parallels the fate of the German and Xhosa nations and simultaneously signifies the Xhosa as destroyers of Xhosaland and the cattle-killing movement of 1856-57 as a diabolical plan. I see this mythologization of history as the ideological justification for the expropriation of the Xhosa and show that Grimm's colonialist fiction is in fact a colonizing discourse. DA - 1988 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 1988 T1 - Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland' TI - Fiction, ideology and history : a critical examination of Hans Grimm's novel 'Kaffernland' UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/21877 ER - en_ZA


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