On the fate of the "great" genre

TitleOn the fate of the "great" genre
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsJuvan, Marko
EditorJuvan, Marko, and Darko Dolinar
Book TitleWriting literary history: selected perspectives from Central Europe
PublisherPeter Lang
CityFrankfurt am Main, etc.
Keywordsgreat genre, historical turn, hypertext, literary history, literature, narrativity, national identity, postmodern

Literary history is discussed as a great genre of narrative historical synthesis, which has been established through interactions with its own “subject,” i.e. literature considered as aesthetic practice. As such genre, literary history has gained authority over the shaping of public past, national and cultural identities, as well as of the literary canon. The post-modern historic turn poses new challenges to the genre, such as a reconsideration of its own role in the social discourse, the substitution of omniscient narrative by the polyphony and collages, the redefinition of the ties between the literary work and the cultural context, and the preservation of its own genre identity through the historical analysis of the literariness and the literary field. One possible reformation of the grand genre is offered by electronic hypertexts.