Postkoloniale reisliteratuur als omkering. Over een vreemde Zuid-Afrikaanse “gids” van Bas Vlugt

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Zakład Studiów Niderlandzkich i Południowoafrykańskich, Wydział Anglistyki UAM / Wydawnictwo Naukowe Exemplum

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The paper aims at analysing the representation of South Africa and the Afrikaners in the novel-like guide written by the Dutch journalist Bas Vlugt. The postcolonial literature is initially viewed in terms of the reversal of power relations where the observed become active observers. This approach is, however, undermined by the fact that it has, among others, also attracted genuinely European writers, such as the author of the analysed text, Bas Vlugt. The aim of these writers is to give an objective representation of the former colonies by means of denying colonialism and the contemporary social relations fostered by it. Next, the focus is on two major aspects of Vlugt’s representation: the development of an ethnographic authority and the ideologically anti-tourist approach of the author. Finally, an attempt is made at demonstrating that the book, cautiously labelled as a novel, utilises a range of commonly accepted anthropological strategies whose aim is to convincingly show that the fieldwork is not only a fact, but is also most extraordinary. The disclosure of the “genuine,” but concealed from the “ordinary” tourist, face of Africa is viewed here as a lost cause and is analysed in terms of Goffman’s division of human behaviour into the backstage and stage episodes.





Werkwinkel, 2006 (1)1, pp. 71-83



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego