‘Zoveel ikken!’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X



This article is a survey of different types of doubles (or ) in Dutch-language literature of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. First, the text explores techniques of narration and focalisation employed to evoke doubles, and demonstrates how readers can be misled in the process. Subsequently, it discusses various phenomena such as shadows, mirror images, alter egos, twins, schizoid characters, etc., organized according to their representation. A distinction is made between external merging (two autonomous characters forming a dyad), external multiplication (one autonomous character being mirrored) and internal fragmentation (one character consisting of several sub-personae). Finally, the article investigates the extent to which the defining characteristics of these doubles manifest themselves in the cited literary texts.

All characteristics are assembled in an orderly table. The structure of rows and columns enables a swift classification of different types of doubles, and allows for an easy visualisation of the changes in their representation and behaviour.

The article contains quotations from texts by Huub Beurskens, Ferdinand Bordewijk, Jeroen Brouwers, Herman Franke, W.F. Hermans, Atte Jongstra, Frans Kellendonk, Willem G. van Maanen, Harry Mulisch, Cees Nooteboom, Simon Vestdijk, L.H. Wiener, Leon de Winter, and Paul de Wispelaere.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): alter egos; fragmentation; mirror images; multiplication; shadows
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