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Document Details :
Title: «Het geruis dat ons vierendeelt»
Subtitle: Een aantal kanttekeningen bij De verwondering van Hugo Claus
Author(s): VERSTRAETEN, Pieter
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 45 Issue: 2 Date: 2003
De verwondering is probably one of Hugo Claus’ most important novels. Some years after this very complex and multilayered book first appeared, critics such as Weisgerber and Claes suggested readings that were based on notions like allegory and intertextuality. Those readings agreed that the meaning of the text could best be described by identifying the (basically mythological and fairly abstract) patterns and schemes in the deeper layers of the text. The intertextual approach immediately gained paradigmatic status, but it is far from unproblematic, because it implies homogenizing strategies that are part of a more general structuralist bias. Those strategies tacitly reduce the complexity of the text and fail to recognize the (more literal, more linear, more superficial) rhetorical and motivic patterns and ambivalences. This article, then, has a double aim: first, a more theoretical part tries to gain insight into the mechanisms that are at work within the traditional ‘intertextual’ model of interpretation; and second, a small-scale reading-exercise hopes to make a contribution to the exploration of a literary text in which the conflict between structure and rest, between homogeneity and heterogeneity plays a constitutive role.