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This article investigates how different narrating strategies influence the way in which we acquire historical knowledge through narrative. It analyses description and reference as narrating strategies that signalize that what is told is consonant with reality (emersive narrating strategies). These narrating strategies are commonly used in non-fictional texts. Immersive strategies are a different set of narrating strategies like dramatized scenes, focalisation, and secondary illusion that aim at creating the illusion that what is told is present in the moment of reading. While immersive strategies are usually expected in fictional contexts, I show that they can also be found in texts whose main purpose is to represent reality like the popular historiographical texts De duizelingwekkende jaren (2009) [The Vertigo Years, 2008] by Philipp Blom or In Europa (2004) [In Europe, 2008] by Geert Mak. The chore of this article is to explain why in certain contexts immersive strategies can be used to support the idea that the text gives a reliable picture of a (past) reality. Using the rhetorical concepts of evidentia and energeia I show why appealing to the reader’s imagination by giving the impression that the reader is part of the narrated world can be productively integrated into a narration whose main aim is to communicate factual knowledge.
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Keywords: history; immersion; non-fictional; reference

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Internationale Neerlandistiek is het wetenschappelijke tijdschrift van de Internationale Vereniging voor Neerlandistiek. Het Nederlandstalige tijdschrift bevordert de dialoog tussen alle wetenschappers die werkzaam zijn op het gebied van de internationale neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek richt zich op de Nederlandse (en Zuid-Afrikaanse) taal- en letterkunde in ruime zin, en heeft daarnaast aandacht voor interculturele aspecten van deze subdisciplines, communicatiewetenschap, didactiek en nieuwe technologie in de vakbeoefening, het verloop van canoniseringsprocessen, vertalen, culturele studies en voor de cultuur van de Lage Landen. Het tijdschrift heeft qua vraagstelling, methode en object een internationaal vergelijkende, en qua auteurs, lezers en verspreiding een internationale dimensie.

    Internationale Neerlandistiek is the scholarly journal of the International Association for Neerlandistiek. Internationale Neerlandistiek is a Dutch language, peer-reviewed journal with an international focus. The journal aims to improve the discussion in international Dutch (including South-African) linguistics and literature, in the broadest sense, including intercultural aspects of subdisciplines, communication studies, translation, cultural studies and the culture of the Low Countries in general.

    The journal is published in Open Access, with the following Creative Commons copyright license: Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).

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