Cees Nooteboom and his Writing
Moving between languages, speaking several but mastering none, living in a constant simultaneous translation, is a possible location for the nomadic sensibility which best expresses itself in creative writing. — Rosi Braidotti, Metamorphoses I Introducing Cees Nooteboom and the Dutch Literary Field This is a book about Cees Nooteboom, a novelist, poet and travel writer who writes in Dutch. It is not a book about Dutch national literature, though part of it is about literature in Dutch. I have chosen Cees Nooteboom as my subject for two reasons: first, because I think he is an interesting and important writer who deserves more attention in English-language criticism and second, because of the transnational nature of his literary presence. As the editors of a recent volume on translating Nooteboom say, ‘Nooteboom is well known as the most cosmopolitan and transcultural of authors from the Dutch language area’.1 What I want to investigate in this book is the extent to which Cees Nooteboom can be said to embody a mode of existence that of fers a pos- sible solution to the problem of how to approach the local, or regional, in a globalized world. His way of life and his writing are not only literally nomadic in that he narrates his own wanderings and those of his characters, 1 ‘Nooteboom staat bekend als een van de meest kosmopolitische en transculturele auteurs uit het Nederlandse taalgebied.’ S. Evenepoel, G Rooryck and H. Verstraete, eds, Taal en cultuur in vertaling: De wereld van Cees Nooteboom (Antwerp...
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