This article provides an overview of two hundred years of Dutch Caribbean poetics: from Eurocentrism to originality, from imitation towards creation.
In the 19th century colonial poets of the ABC islands followed European examples, in the beginning of the 20th century they searched for local themes and forms, and from the last decades of the 20th and in the beginning of the 21st centuries they combined the local and the global arriving at a creative amalgam of the glocal.
Although scholars in the Netherlands have already attempted to integrate literary theories on migration with the specific Dutch context, none such attempts have so far been made for Flemish literature. The current paper therefore scrutinises the novel Los by Tom Naegels, an (autobiographical) account of the riots in Borgerhout (Antwerp) after the murder on Islam teacher Mohamed Achrak in 2002. As the author also covered these events as a journalist, the analysis investigates the manner in which this topical matter is intertwined with the more personal story about the struggle conducted by Naegels’s grandfather for euthanasia. The paper leans on Jérôme Meizoz’s posture theory, which differentiates the author figure from the biographical person and the narrator. In addition, the novel is situated within the contemporary literary return towards realism and Flemish literature’s negotiation of Flemish identity. By focussing on these three elements – the theme of migration, realism and Flemish identity – the paper attempts to contribute to the development of a literary theory on migration in Flanders.
This article discusses the Dutch poet Remco Campert’s involvement in the anti-apartheid movement in Holland by focusing on his magazine Gedicht (1974-1976) and his poem dedicated to the imprisoned South African writer Breyten Breytenbach. Campert’s international engagement is part of the actions undertaken by the Breytenbach-committee and other Dutch initiatives which tried to maintain public interest for the case of Breyten-bach’s imprisonment.
In the making of an edition of the first modern Dutch slavery novel, De stille plantage (1931) by Surinamese author Albert Helman, all kinds of questions arise. There are issues of postcolonial contextualization, historical commentary and the way a text gets its actual significance in high schools. All these issues have their own sensibility in the light of recent fierce debates on slavery and its impact on western societies. The editors do have to take into account more than ever before their own position and questions of ideological responsibility, apart from issues of didactical and pedagogical nature. The question is raised whether such a modern edition does not touch more upon ideological language critique than postcolonial contextualization.
This paper discusses Dutch historical travelogues as a source for linguistic research. On the one hand one can find descriptions of exotic languages or undocumented remote dialects in travel journals, on the other hand one may come across philosophical and theoretical ideas about language in the utopian reports of imaginary voyages.
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.