Original Research

F. Springer: diplomaat-skrywer

W. F. Jonckheere
Literator | Vol 15, No 2 | a665 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v15i2.665 | © 1994 W. F. Jonckheere | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 1994 | Published: 02 May 1994

About the author(s)

W. F. Jonckheere, Universiteit van Natal (Pietermaritzburg), South Africa

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F. Springer, pseudonym of Dutch ex-diplomat Corel Jan Schneider, fills a unique position in the present-day Dutch literary scene in that the action of his prose works is usually not situated in the Netherlands but mostly in exotic places where Schneider was posted to as an employee of the Dutch foreign service. Having Java as his place of birth and Dutch New Guinea as his first place of assignment, quite a few of his earlier stories and short novels focus on the fateful encounter between Western administrative efficiency or approach to colonial life and Eastern (mainly primitive) ways of living. As a sceptic, Springer views the while man's colonial administration as futile scribbling in the margins of history'. Springer's main works are the novels Bougainville, noted for its unique structure, and Quissama, a gripping evocation of postcolonial Angola. In these and other of his texts Springer regards writing as a way of making his existence more bearable and keeping misery, encountered in all third world countries, at a distance in order not to be engulfed by it. He also views it as his expression of opposition against the world of make believe and the deception of modern diplomacy and international trade relations.


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