"We have all silent parents" - Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in 'My Father's War'

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"We have all silent parents" - Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in 'My Father's War'

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title "We have all silent parents" - Colonialism and Cosmopolitanism in 'My Father's War'
Author(s) Stoltz, Pauline
Date 2008
English abstract
In Adriaan van Dis's novel "Indische Duinen" (1994; translated into English as "My Father's War" in 2005) a family migrates from Indonesia to the Netherlands. They leave a Japanese concentration camp behind, but have a hard time finding peace in the Netherlands. A son is born, whom 46 years later reveals the secrets and lies of his relatives. The novel was published almost 50 years after the Indonesian declaration of independence. "Indische Duinen" played an important role in the public debate which during the mid 1990s dealt with Dutch colonial history and the position of Dutch-Indonesians in the Netherlands, their memories of the Dutch-Indies and the Japanese occupation as well as of the role of the Dutch during the colonial period. These were issues which were hardly discussed in post Second World War Holland, when rather memories of a war won from the Germans dominated the scene. Colonialism and the Second World War both produced societal traumas which involved great numbers of people and touched individual lives in different parts of the world in crucial ways. Globalisation processes and their problems are at the forefront of these traumas. Notions of cosmopolitanism and global citizenship (Appiah; Bauman; Beck; Held) are often used to take issue with amongst others senses of insecurity, the fear of, as well as the fascination with anything "foreign". The paper critically addresses the global and local problems and cosmopolitan solutions which can be identified in the literary interpretation of these traumas by van Dis in "Indische Duinen".
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) cosmopolitanism
Humanities/Social Sciences
Note Handout till "Migration and Memory: Representations of Migration in Europe since 1960" konferens på Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare. Malmö högskola, Malmö, 13-14 december 2008
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/7433 (link to this page)

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