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Open access

Sander Bax

Abstract

In contemporary media culture, literary writers arouse the fascination of media fans by awakening in them the desire for the authentic by publishing autobiographical novels or other forms of life narrative. In doing so, they run the risk of becoming part of media’s large gossip mechanism that plays such a central role nowadays. The public conversation about the books of writers such as the Dutch author Connie Palmen - whose Logboek van een onbarmhartig jaar will be the main case study of this article - becomes focused on the elements of truth and authenticity and ignores the literary or fictional construction of the work. This article discusses the question whether this leaves any room for contemporary star authors to distinguish themselves from media gossipers.

Open access

Inge Van De Ven

Abstract

I analyze the public authorship of Dutch writer A.H.J. Dautzenberg. I disentangle some of the main threads in his literature and public persona, singling out three socio-cultural issues on which he has publicly taken a stance in both his literature and his non-fiction texts. I base my analysis on three types of sources: Dautzenberg’s works of literary fiction, appearances in the media, and non-fictional texts. I argue that the case of Dautzenberg brings out the limits of any typology of engaged authorship, autonomous authorship, or stardom, and that his veiled emphasis on factuality under the flag of fiction to an important extent explains the efficiency of his style of media performance, and helps the author generate attention for his work. I conclude that in the final instance, both his work and his media performances are subordinate to his societal engagement, and that therefore, Dautzenberg is a public antagonist first, and an author only secondarily.

Open access

Philip Vermoortel

Abstract

In 1860, the Dutch author Multatuli (pen name of Eduard Douwes Dekker) published Max Havelaar, which was to become the most famous nineteenth-century Dutch novel. In 2016, the book was rewritten by Martijn Adelmund as a book in which also zombies play a role. By doing so, Adelmund follows a fifteen-year-old American literary tradition to rewrite literary masterpieces as zombie books. Since Max Havelaar neither contains many characters nor descriptions of Indonesian nature and has a rather simple plot, Adelmund decided to mix the book with another nineteenth-century Dutch literary masterpiece: Louis Couperus’ De stille kracht. The purpose is to make secondary school pupils read the original Max Havelaar again and encourage them to compare the two versions in order to develop a critical understanding of Dutch colonial history and its present-day consequences. The review focuses on the way Adelmund combined the two classic books, reshaped the plot and added parts of his own. Attention is paid to the way in which the original language was modernized and to the question whether this book really can or will help young students to read the original. However noble Adelmund’s objectives may be, it is very improbable that he will manage to realize them since the quality of the novel he created leaves a lot to be desired.

Open access

Rick Honings

Abstract

The Flemish writer Herman Brusselmans is the most famous author of the Low Countries. In this article, Herman Brusselmans is analysed as a star author. First and foremost, two striking aspects of Brusselmans’s stardom are analysed: his public visibility and the cult of the private. Attention is then focused on Brusselmans’s experience of celebrity, which he - like many other star authors - thematises in his books. Doing so, he consciously places himself in the context of popular culture. On the other hand, as a result of his celebrity status he has been expected - particularly in the last few years - to assume the role of public intellectual willy-nilly, and this in turn has had consequences for his work.

Open access

Frans Hinskens, Johan Taeldeman (eds.)

Language and Space: An International Handbook of Linguistic Variation Volume 3: Dutch

Robertus de Louw, Małgorzata Szczypińska and Katarzyna Wiercińska

Open access

Odile Heynders

Abstract

In today’s transforming European public sphere various literary authors position themselves publicly and engagingly in the debate on migration and exclusion. Dutch writer Tommy Wieringa is a clear voice in this context: his ideas on the topic are meaningfully expressed in literary novels. This article analyses Wieringa’s position as an authoritative public intellectual speaking with great moral weight about the figure of the migrant. Drawing on positioning theory, the main claim of the article will be that Wieringa’s literary articulation of migration contributes to the societal discussion and underlines a specific type of moral knowledge as well as an appeal to human solidarity.

Open access

Piotr Szlanta

Abstract

The bloody conflict which was taking place in South Africa in the years 1899-1902 was followed with a great interest by Polish public opinion. Its greatest part strongly sympathized with the Boer republics. Their burgers were idealized and presented by the Polish press as brave fighters for independence, who dared to stand up against the world empire to defend their rights while Great Britain was attributed full responsibility for the outbreak of the war. For many Poles the Boers personified the general idea of freedom fighters and symbolized all suppressed nations. Their sad fate seemed to be quite similar to the Polish one and this similarity was the main source of sympathy toward defenders of the Transvaal and Free Orange State. Voices of few Polish intellectuals, who called for a more objective and not so emotional view on the war, could not change the pro-Boers stance of the greatest part of Polish public opinion.

Open access

Arkadiusz Żukowski

Abstract

In the paper land reform in South African political discourse will be investigated, especially the process of its politicization. How the topic of land reform is used by political forces, especially the ruling party; the African National Congress and current President Jacob Zuma. Does the Republic of South Africa take a populist turn on land reform or is it some kind of social justice after the suppression of the apartheid era and decades before? The political disputes and decisions will be analysed in confrontations with the fundamentals and values of a democratic state as a guarantee of property rights, private ownership and free market principles (dilemma of the problem of willing buyer - willing seller). It will be necessary to present the historical background of land problem in the RSA. The problem will be investigated in connection with the socio-economic situation of the RSA. The study will also tackle the problem of social and economic inequality from the perspective of politics. In the paper, a mix of primary and secondary research methods of data collection and analysing will be used. Theoretical framework will be based on assumptions of political discourse and the paradigm of “classic” land reform.