zaterdag 16 juli 2011

Literaire slavernij

In 2009 heeft Ena Jansen een belangrijk artikel gepubliceerd over ‘Slavernijromans als beginpunt voor een vergelijkend onderzoek tussen literatuur uit Zuid-Afrika en het Nederlands-Caribisch gebied.’ Het stuk is te vinden in het Tydskrif vir Nederlands en Afrikaans 2009 [16:1, p. 3-28]. Ter gelegenheid van de aanstaande internationale Berkeley Conference on Colonial and Post-Colonial Connections in Dutch Literature in september 2011 zal zij - in vervolg op dit artikel uit 2009 - een referaat houden over ‘Slavery in Dutch and Afrikaans historical novels’. Zie de link voor het congresprogramma en lees hieronder het abstract van Ena's bijdrage.

Similar Pasts Remembered: South African and Dutch-Caribbean Slavery Novels

"Despite huge differences between South Africa and the Caribbean, colonial Dutch influences are still highly visible in both areas, especially with regards to important cultural products such as language (Afrikaans and Papiamento) and memories of slavery. For centuries, though, there was very little direct contact between South Africa and the Caribbean. This was mainly due to the division of the seventeenth and eighteenth century Dutch world between the VOC and WIC areas as well as the fact that South Africa became part of the British world after 1806 and had little direct official contact with Holland.

After apartheid ended in the 1990s these transatlantic worlds started making contact, mainly via their communal ‘mother country’ from colonial times by way of projects initiated by Dutch cultural networks such as the Nederlandse Taalunie and Winternachten. Novelist Rayda Jacobs who had published The Slave Book in 1998, was the first South African author to be invited to attend the Krusa Laman festival (an extension of Winternachten) on Curacao. That was in 2003.

In a recent article (‘Slavernijromans als beginpunt voor een vergelijkend onderzoek tussen literatuur uit Zuid-Afrika en het Nederlands-Caribisch gebied’, Tydskrif vir Nederlands en Afrikaans 2009:1) I suggested that slave novels can be an important starting point for comparative literary studies between South Africa and the Dutch-Caribbean areas. In my paper I will continue this line of thought by discussing a few slavery novels written by South African and Dutch-Caribbean authors in a comparative context against the background of insights from postmodern and postcolonial theories on historical novels. I will also take up a suggestion which I made in the article to compare how slave history is used as literary material in the literatures of South Africa and the Dutch Caribbean islands to comment on more recent unjust practices such as apartheid, corruption and political repression. Recent popular culture projects such as the Curacao-Dutch opera ‘Katibu di shon’ (collaboration between author De Haseth and the Dutch mezzo soprano Tania Kross) and André Brinks most recent novel based on slave narratives will all be included in an attempt to frame the parameters of comparative research. David Johnsons article ‘Representing Cape Slavery: Literature, law, and history’ (2010) in Journal of Postcolonial Writing 46 (5: 504-516) will be taken into account."

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