The Grand Narrative Revisited; Contemporary Flemish Novelists Take Up the Challenge to Create Plots of the Flat World

Aukje van Rooden
2012 Arcadia (Berlin)  
Both in literature and philosophy it is assumed that the beginning of post-modernity coincides with the end of the so-called grand narrative. Referring to Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's last book L'"Allégorie", one could claim that since then, literary (re)presentation manifests itself as essentially 'chronic' and nonallegorical. Moreover, in the wake of Thomas Friedman's The World is Flat the twenty-first century is often referred to as an all-visible flat world. This flatness, however, both
more » ... however, both extends and challenges the postmodern end of the grand narrative. After all, a world without reverse might be particularly suitable for an allencompassing story. This seems to be the conclusion drawn by the remarkable and comparable recent novels of three Flemish literary writers. Putting to the test existing ideas of literary presentation of post-modernity, they return to the grand narrative while at the same time subscribing to the main characteristics of contemporary literature.
doi:10.1515/arcadia-2012-0010 fatcat:toost7mebreangso4hrvpce3r4