De ethiek van het literaire

Frans Ruiter, Wilbert Smulders


Dossier Willem Frederik Hermans

In this introduction to a dossier on the work of Willem Frederik Hermans, Frans Ruiter and Wilbert Smulders question the common distinction between autonomous and heteronomous literature. They argue that autonomous literature may be considered as a special form of social commitment. The authors link this type of commitment to concepts as ‘singularity’ and ‘otherness’. To bring into the open this strangeness or otherness of literature, one cannot do without interpretation. However, current sociological approaches to literature have turned out to be rather skeptical about the efficacy of interpretation of literary texts. Because of this sociological blind spot, the authors take recourse to anthropology, a social discipline that, because of the ‘otherness’ of its object, has always considered interpretation as vital to its methodology. In the two articles in this dossier two complementary examples of such an anthropological approach are presented.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521