Die rol van Nederland in die transnasionale beweging van enkele Afrikaanse skrywers | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 52, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729


This article explores the role that the Netherlands play in the transnational movement of Afrikaans authors. Because of the historical ties between the Netherlands and South Africa and the similarities between the languages Dutch and Afrikaans, Afrikaans authors and their texts often gain an audience in the Netherlands. This article posits the idea that the interaction between the Dutch and the Afrikaans literary systems form part of a ‘minor transnationalism’ (Lionnet & Shih 2005) of a specific kind: the ‘vertical movement’ of texts from a marginal literature (Afrikaans literature) to a literature placed in the European, metropolitan ‘centre’ that does not necessarily occupy an important place in that centre (Dutch literature). The article focuses on the literary careers of five Afrikaans authors who have a high profile both in the Netherlands and the larger, international world, namely André Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, Etienne van Heerden, Antjie Krog and Marlene van Niekerk. It attempts to discern whether exposure in the Netherlands led to exposure in the larger world. Several factors are taken into account: the position of Afrikaans literature in South Africa, the role of translation, the impact of genre, the influence of Western intellectual discourses and the importance of political acuity.


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