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New Monograph by Jane Fenoulhet on Cees Nooteboom and his Writing

14 October 2013

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Cees Nooteboom (born 1933) is a writer of fiction, poetry and travel literature. Translated into at least thirty-four languages, his work raises important questions about the mobility of literary texts and invites a new theoretical approach, for to read Nooteboom straightforwardly as a Dutch author would be to do him an injustice.

In this book, his fiction and travel writing are discussed on the basis of his English œuvre, while the chapter on his poetry moves between Dutch and English editions. The first part of the study reflects on texts crossing boundaries and the ways in which literary theory and history have dealt with them. The author then brings nomadic philosophy to bear on translation studies, considering translation as the process through which a literary work is welcomed into a new culture.

The second part of the book argues that Nooteboom’s themes and preoccupations are themselves nomadic, with their philosophical treatment of the subjective experiences of death, writing, love, sex and crisis as opportunities for becoming and self-exploration. Nooteboom’s imaginative worlds are constructed in language that is playful, laconic, meditative, witty and yet, especially in the poetry, deadly serious.

Contents: Literature on the Move: Finding a Disciplinary Framework / New Belongings: Translation, Travel and Cees Nooteboom / Nomadic Subjectivity and Identity: Or, Cees Nooteboom and Dutchness / The Novels: Fictions of Becoming / The Poetry: ‘Like a Foreigner in One’s Own Language’ / The Travel Writing: Translation as a Nomadic Mode.

Jane Fenoulhet is Professor of Dutch Studies at University College London. She works on modern literature in Dutch, literary translation and language pedagogy. Her recent books include Making the Personal Political: Dutch Women Writers 1919–1970 (2007) and Mobility and Localisation in Language Learning (2010, co-edited with Cristina Ros i Solé).

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