‘De duivel hale dat door en door in weelde en luiheid opgegroeide volk’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 54, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729



From contemporary fiction on sea voyage appears a striking image. The ships that sailed between The Netherlands and Dutch East Indies, amidst 1850 and 1890, formed a micro colony: a compressed version of a colonial society. Practically, all components of a colonial community are represented on board. That includes the so-called backsliders: the Indianised Europeans. Analysis of eight novels on the sea voyages round Cape of Good Hope shows that Europeans that went native were represented in colonial discourse as a fundamental threat to colonial society, as they proved that the alleged superior Western civilization could be affected by supposed inferior Eastern cultures. For that encroaches upon the legitimacy of the colonial hegemony.


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