Hoe ziet een vis de rivier waarin hij zwemt? - Waarnemen vanuit een liminaal perspectief in de Berlijnse notities van Cees Nooteboom | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729


In this article we use the concept of ‘liminality’ to shed new light on Berlijnse notities, a collection of essays written by Dutch author Cees Nooteboom. Nooteboom wrote his essays in 1989 and 1990, during the fall of the Berlin Wall and consequent German reunification. Although he was an eye witness to these historic events, he distances himself from the political turmoil, and „posits himself as an outsider and a stranger. We argue that within the text, the voice of the pensive, reflexive outsider opens up a liminal space, in which the narrator is neither completely estranged from the German people and their history, nor completely part of all that is happening. However, this liminal space is not a stable given; we analyze the way in which the narrator’s reflexive position is threatened by the chaos of the unexpected but also heavily mediatised events of 1989, and look at the different ways in which the author tries to reconstitute this liminal space.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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