Article

How much future does yesterday have?

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

Why do we provide a literary text with editorial commentary? According to Hellinga and Mathijsen the goal of such a commentary is to reintroduce the experience of the contemporary reader for today's readership. The commentary facilitates the 'aesthetic' appreciation of a text. In this article, I reflect on the necessity of such a commentary by an imagined new edition of the 'documentary' texts of the Dutch author Harry Mulisch. Two essential problems can be identified. Firstly, the commentary to such a text disposes the text of its historicity. In order to provide the reader with an 'aesthetic' experience, the commentary deprives the reader of an 'historical' experience. The second problem concerns the reconstructive work that underlies the commentary. This is mainly focused on filling in the referential allusions which are hard to understand. But what if a text explicitly refuses to be referential? The elaboration of the vague references to historical reality is in conflict with the alienating characteristics of the text. Again, this doesn't leave much room for a historical experience of the reader. I will highlight these two problems in a short analysis of Mulisch' play 'De knop' ('The Button'): a modernist text which refers to reality in a very complex way. Further, I discuss the specific problem of the tension between fact and fiction in this text, the possible reaction of the commentary, and the consequences for the reading experience.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.