Original Research

The resurrection of South African literature in Dutch? Some remarks on canonisation of minority literatures

Olf Praamstra, Eep Francken
Literator | Vol 33, No 2 | a140 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v33i2.140 | © 2012 Olf Praamstra, Eep Francken | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 July 2012 | Published: 23 November 2012

About the author(s)

Olf Praamstra, Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University, Netherlands
Eep Francken, Centre for the Arts in Society, Leiden University, Netherlands


To gain entry into literary history and into the canon of literature may be quite difficult for a writer in general; for an author from a cultural periphery it is nearly impossible. For him there is only one road to canonisation: by way of a separate literary history of his peripheral area. Dutch (post)colonial literature is a case in point. Writers from the former Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), the Dutch Antilles and Surinam have been saved from oblivion because histories of their regional literatures have been published. In contrast, South African literature in Dutch (not to be confused with Afrikaans literature) in the course of the twentieth century dropped out of the picture. Although, strictly speaking, there is a need for more preliminary studies, a concise history of this specific body of literature is highly desirable as well.


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