New Germans, New Dutch: Literary Interventions (Palimpsest) by Liesbeth Minnaard

By Liesbeth Minnaard

In today’s globalized global, traditions of a countrywide Self and a countrywide different now not carry. This well timed quantity considers the stakes in our altering definitions of nationwide barriers in mild of the unmistakable transformation of German and Dutch societies. reading how the literature of migration intervenes in public discourses on multiculturality and together with certain research of works by means of the Turkish-German writers Emine Sevgi ?zdamer and Feridun Zaimoglu and the Moroccan-Dutch writers Abdelkader Benali and Hafid Bouazza, New Germans, New Dutch deals the most important insights into the ways that literature negotiates either distinction and the nationwide context of its writing.

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Jews – with good reason – constitute an exceptional minority in the German socioscape. Uerlings describes this situation: The most important ‘other culture’ in the German-speaking world is the Jewish one. The Holocaust has nearly made it disappear. This extinction still determines the interaction with Jewish and presumably with other minorities in Germany, namely and above all in the shape of prevailing ‘blind spots’ in the debate. e. also with the achieved state of political, literary and artistic discussion.

Central in both articles is the concern for the genesis of an ethnic underclass. Both of these white male intellectuals fear for an impending social segregation along ethnic lines. Scheffer argues that, instead of constituting a national community, people live alongside each other in Dutch society. The Dutch policy of integration while retaining one’s own identity hampers the pursuit of emancipation and social participation. 43 He connects this collapse to the (assumed lack of a) Dutch national identity: The culture of toleration that has now reached its boundaries joins with a selfimage that is inaccurate.

With the West German Basic Law of 1949 – supervised by the Allied forces – the definition of citizenship became based on civil equality again. 63 The only time in history that the German nation actually came close to the realisation of its constitutive ‘ideal of ethnic homogeneity’ was around 1950, as a result of the utterly destructive politics of fascism. It was only after the Second World War that the devastated and defeated German nation state was made up of a fairly homogeneous mono-ethnic population.

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