Searching for New Weapons? Dutch Studies under Late Modern Conditions
Keywords:late modernity / laat-moderniteit, Dutch studies / Nederlandse literatuurstudie, interdisciplinarity / interdisciplinariteit, Maxim Februari, Lieke Marsman
In this article we argue for a study of Dutch literature that adjusts the ‘what’ (research domain) and ‘how’ (research method) to the time in which we currently find ourselves. We refer to the conditions of our era as late modern conditions (Giddens), which means that they can be traced back to earlier, modern conditions; we can therefore examine the historical and cultural background and causes. The fact that these are conditions means that if we take these conditions seriously they are changing the nature and design of our field. We argue that the study of Dutch literature can help us to trace the concrete affective, emotional and imaginary patterns and routines that both characterize and uphold late modernity. Our argument will take shape through a reading of two contemporary novels: Maxim Februari’s Klont (2017) and Lieke Marsman’s Het tegenovergestelde van een mens (2017).