The Scattered ‘I’

The Ambivalent Work of Paul de Wispelaere The work of the Flemish writer, essayist and critic Paul de Wispelaere (1928-) is highly characteristic of the development of literature and literary criticism in Dutch during the second half of the twentieth century. When he came on the scene in the mid-sixties, De Wispelaere was much impressed…

The Poet in the Mixer

The Work of Breyten Breytenbach The South African poet and artist Breyten Breytenbach (1939-) once said that he wrote in a ‘bastard language’, ‘Afrikaans.’ Nowadays he publishes mostly in English, having turned his back on the Afrikaans literary establishment which once showered him with prizes and accolades. In his uneasiness with his own cultural heritage…

Postmodernism in the Literature of the Low Countries

The Dutch language area, like the rest of Europe, did not see the term postmodernism come into use until the early 1980s. The interest generated by this new ‘concept of criticism’ soon gave rise to a welter of publications, all more or less inspired by Jean-Francois Lyotard’s philosophical essay, The Postmodern Condition (La condition postmoderne,…