De identiteit van het vreemde: Fictie en non-fictie in het verhaal “Kapitein Christoffel” van László Székely

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Department of Dutch and South African Studies, Faculty of English

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László Székely was a Hungarian writer and the spouse of Madelon Lulofs, a famous Dutch writer of the 1930’s. After having come to Europe from the Dutch East Indies in 1930, the couple quickly lost their fortune after Székely invested it in his brother’s uncertain business. This was one of the reasons why Lulofs and Székely started to write extensively. Although he did not become as successful as his wife, he still made a significant contribution to Dutch colonial literature. Next to his two novels (Van oerwoud tot plantage from 1935 and Rimboe from 1942), he published twenty short stories in several Hungarian newspapers and periodicals. All of his texts were born out of his experience on a plantation and they are all fine examples of a remarkable crossover between fiction and non-fiction, imagination and historical facts. This also refers to one of his first short stories about an officer in the Atjeh war, captain Christoffel. Christoffel, once a celebrated hero decorated with several medals, is nowadays referred to as a cruel, merciless butcher and a disgrace to the colonial history. In this article, identity is analysed from a postcolonial perspective. Firstly, closer attention is paid to the identity of the text itself, its genre. Does it belong to the category ‘fiction’ or ‘non-fiction’? Secondly, the changing character of the categories ‘strange’ and ‘familiar’ as presented in Székely’s short story will be analysed.




colonialism, postcolonial literature, deconstruction, László Székely, non-fiction


Werkwinkel vol. 7(1), 2012, pp. 61-71



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