'n Ondersoek na die verskynsel literere spanning aan die hand van Deon Meyer se roman Proteus
De Vries, D.W.
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In these novels suspense plays an important role, but elements that are usually found in literary works are also prominent in these narratives, for instance the fleshing out of characters' psyche and working with philosophical or current issues. In rhetorical terms these novels can be said to be suspense novels that make use of literary devices and themes. Novels by Deon Meyer fit into this category. In the Netherlands translations of his works are to be found among 'literaire thrillers' in bookshops. Therefore one of Meyer's novels was chosen for analysis. In this study the ways in which suspense is created in a narrative text is investigated. Proteus, a literary thriller, was chosen for its handling of characters and events in the transition in South Africa from an apartheid state to a democratic dispensation. This poses an intricate challenge for the writer. The reseach problem posed is this: How is literary suspense created in a narrative text? The creation of suspense in a narrative text has to do with literary communication. For this reason Roman Jakobson's well-known model for literary communication is at the basis of this research. Rene Appel's criteria for the creation of suspense in narrative texts, as it is explained in his work Spanning in verhalen: Over het schrijven van spannende boeken (2007), is also part of this study at its theoretical base. Various relevant sources have been included in this regard. In this formalistic study various elements pertaining to suspense in the narrative are part of the research in terms of isolating the ways in which suspense is produced in a narrative text in general and specifically in the case of Proteus. Also in this regard the novel's literarity is discussed.