Die verhaal as mitiese vraagstelling: die verhaalkuns van Henriette Grové


Story as mythical questioning: The narrative art of Henriette Grové

Henriette Grove's stories are mostly concerned with the nature and meaning of human experience, especially human suffering. In this article an effort is made to characterize these stories, indicating the relation between the stories and a way of thinking that is primarily concerned with metaphysical, mythical and religious issues. Texts like In die kamer was ’n kas and Die kêrel van die Pêrel and some short stories are examined to find indications of the underlying vision of man from which the stories generate. Special attention will be given to focalization in the stories, indicating the need to extend the meaning and use of the term so that textual as well as extratextual modal relations can be described. These relations may provide an indication of the vision of man which is favoured by the “abstract author" and which in this case seems to encompass much more than mere ideological thought patterns. Grové's stories posit questions which, being mythical questions, can only be answered in a religious manner. The stories do not provide solutions to the problematic nature o f experience and suffering, but insist on asking the type of questions with which religion concerns itself.