How the gothic reared its head in Dutch literature


  • Agnes Andeweg Maastricht University



Gothic novel, Twentieth-century Dutch Literature, Gender, Sexuality




It was not until the twentieth century, and especially the 1980s, that Dutch Gothic fiction began to flourish. This article gives an overview of the history of the Gothic in Dutch literature, and discusses the explanations given for the absence of a Dutch Gothic tradition. It then examines six Gothic novels from the 1980s in more depth to determine what kind of “cultural work” the Gothic does in late-twentieth century Dutch novels. In those novels, the Gothic is a way of expressing the ambivalences accompanying new societal relations following the 1960s, when constructs of the self in terms of gender and sexuality were reformulated.

Biografia do Autor

Agnes Andeweg, Maastricht University

Agnes Andeweg is a lecturer at the Department of Literature and Artand the Centre for Gender and Diversity of Maastricht University(Netherlands). Her work focuses largely on the topic of literature asa medium of cultural transfer, comprising issues such as the socialand political implications of literature, and the configurations ofidentity in literary texts. In her PhD dissertation (Griezelig gewoon,Amsterdam University Press, 2011) she analysed the Gothic’s culturalwork in contemporary Dutch novels. Currently, she is editing thevolume Gothic Kinship for Manchester University Press with Prof.Sue Zlosnik. Her new research project Sexual Nationalism and theDutch Novel looks at how writers and their work helped define Dutchnational identity as sexually liberated.






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