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Document Details :
Title: Een geschiedenis in getekende woorden
Subtitle: Het gebruik van handschrift en de compositie van tekst in Peter Pontiacs Kraut
Author(s): SPANJERS, Rik
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 64 Issue: 1 Date: 2022
In this article I demonstrate how the Dutch ‘biographic’ Kraut uses a semiotic conflict, i.e. the tension between the narrative and visual properties of text, to depict the difficult legacy of World War II collaboration in the Netherlands. This tension between the narrative and visual properties of text comes to the fore in Kraut especially through its use of handwriting and composition of texts on the page. The compositions of texts from widely different sources – private letters, court testimonies, history books, and family chronicles, for example – that fill the pages Kraut reflect the impossible position of its narrator as both the son and the interrogator of the main object of the 'biographic': Joop Pollmann. Rather than resolve this conflict, however, I argue that Kraut operationalizes this tension in order to show the fundamental impossibility of coming to terms with the past.