Zarathustra in Surinam: Albert Helman’s Prophecy of the ‘New Man’ in Zuid-Zuid-West (1926)

Jeroen Dewulf

Abstract


The philosophical novel Zuid-Zuid-West (South-Southwest, 1926) by the Dutch-Surinamese author Albert Helman (1903-1996) is famous for the sharp critique of Dutch colonial policy in its epilogue. The remaining part of this novel has traditionally received little attention. This is all the more surprising since Zuid-Zuid-West represents one of the first examples of the turn towards ‘mestizaje’ in Latin American literature. By comparing Helman’s Zuid-Zuid-West with José Vasconcelos’s prophecy of the ‘new man’ in La raza cósmica (The Cosmic Race, 1925), this article intends to highlight how these Latin American intellectuals attempted to concretize Friedrich Nietzsche’s prophecy of the ‘new man’ in the shape of the multiracial ‘mestizo’.

Keywords


Albert Helman; José Vasconcelos; Friedrich Nietzsche; New Man; Miscegenation; Mestizaje; Surinam

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