Original Research

De fascinatie blijft: Recente Nederlandse reisliteratuur over het nieuwe Zuid-Afrika

Loes Nas
Literator | Vol 36, No 1 | a1149 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v36i1.1149 | © 2015 Loes Nas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 August 2014 | Published: 31 July 2015


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Abstract

The fascination continues: Recent Dutch travel literature about the new South Africa. Recently, and within a relatively short period of time, ten Dutch language non-fiction books on the new South Africa were published. Dutch authors apparently continue to be fascinated by the history and inhabitants of this country and after more than fifteen years of democracy try to take stock of it from a Dutch perspective. Thus, in 2009 an epistolary travel report was published by Dylan van Eijkeren, Ik zag een aap: reisbrieven uit het nieuwste Zuid-Afrika, and Bram Vermeulen, correspondent for the quality paper NRC Handelsblad, wrote Help, Ik ben blank geworden: bekentenissen van een Afrika correspondent. From diverging perspectives these two authors reported on their experiences, expectations and disappointments in respect of the new South Africa. The travel writer experiences a modern version of the Great Trek whereas the journalist tries to fathom the complexity of the country after a blood bath. The article starts with an introductory overview of recent Dutch non-fiction on South Africa, placed in the context of postcolonial travel literature. This is followed by a close reading of the said two diverging texts.

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