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Document Details :
Title: Niemand is een eiland
Subtitle: Het relationele schrijven van Boeli van Leeuwen
Author(s): VAN DIJK, Yra , BADWY, Sarah
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 62 Issue: 1 Date: 2020
Literary texts from the Dutch Caribbean have mostly been read in their historical and local context. This contribution proposes a more political and theoretical reading of Schilden van leem (Shields of Clay), a postmodern 1985 novel by the Dutch-Antillean author Boeli van Leeuwen. Starting from the idea that literary texts may function as a form of postcolonial theory and a critical counter-discourse, the Dutch novel is brought in relation to Poétique de la Relation by Édouard Glissant. An analysis of the text on four levels (fiction and meta-fiction, identity, memory and discourse), demonstrates different forms of meaningmaking in the Caribbean context. This analytical perspective reveals which alternatives Van Leeuwen proposes for traditional relations and imperial hierarchies: instead, we see new forms of relation, for example between human and nature. But contrary to Glissants work, that sees hope in new and global forms of ‘relation’, Van Leeuwen’s text deconstructs this utopian world view by demonstrating that empire is only replaced by a cynical global capitalism.