By Robert Nieuwenhuys

This is often the definitive literary heritage of the colonial Dutch East Indies. integrated is a dialogue of fictional works and likewise of fabrics starting from non secular sermons and pamphlets to the money owed of tourists from the 17th during the 20th centuries.

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Extra resources for Mirror of the Indies: a history of Dutch colonial literature

Sample text

Living outside of a literary tradition has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages seem obvious enough, certainly to authors left too much to their own devices, while the advantages seem less self-evident. Even so, life beyond the literary pale has its good side. Generally, it forces writers to lose their pretensions and to do without the constraints a life of letters imposes. The author's impulses too can have freer rein, he or she will feel less lettered, and the writing is likely to be more spontaneous.

Photography is an elegiac art, a twilight art. . " Most of these photographs were once mundane witnesses that these people actually existed in a particular place at a particular time, but now, nearly a century later, they have entered another dimension where that very banality has changed to idiosyncrasy. Mute and innocent, they stare back at us as if imploring that we will verify their existence. " Page xxi These images are melancholy icons of what is in the process of becoming a mythical time.

Various nationalistic parties were formed, and the Indonesians demanded a far more representative role in the administration of their country. The example of Japan indicated to the Indonesians that European rulers were not invincible. The rapidity with which the Japanese conquered Southeast Asia during the Second World War only accelerated the process of decolonization. In 1945 Indonesia declared its independence, naming Sukarno the republic's first president. The Dutch did not accept this declaration and between 1945 and 1949 they conducted several unsuccessful military campaigns to re-establish control.

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