Read e-book online A Family Occupation PDF

By Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

ISBN-10: 9053562214

ISBN-13: 9789053562215

ISBN-10: 9053562362

ISBN-13: 9789053562369

Lots of modern-day Dutch writers have been young children in the course of international warfare II. Even at the present time, the nerve-racking early life event of enemy profession remains to be valuable to the paintings of lots of them. This curiosity cuts around the conventional obstacles among fiction, autobiography and the literature of trauma and restoration. A family members profession is the 1st English-language advent to Dutch-language texts written by means of and in regards to the 'Children of the battle' and their cultural context. Their topics and literary conventions throw an enticing mild at the Dutch method of matters corresponding to guilt and innocence, reminiscence and narrative, nationwide id, baby abuse and victimhood.

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Example text

The woman and the young boy comfort each other and converse. She attempts to prepare Anton for a hurtful view she fears he will later confront, namely, that the a family occupation Resistance is to blame for the ills that befall him and his family as a result of the assault on Ploeg. Thus the narrative recalls to the reader a stock theme in discussions of situational ethics during and after the occupation. ”… “Listen. They’ll try and make you believe all kinds of things, but you must never forget that it was the Krauts11 who burned down your house.

The narrative takes pains to present not only him, but his entire family, as innocent and even ignorant of the events which lead to the catastrophe. Thus Anton’s parents and brother function as the paradigm of the “innocent” Dutch family – the perfect example of people who view themselves as “average” Dutch citizens and who attempted to survive the occupation by staying out of the public eye by neither collaborating with the occupying forces, nor by resisting. As the Steenwijk family is quietly playing a board game (the well-known traditional game called “Mens erger je niet” in Dutch)4 inside their house, Fake Ploeg, the Chief Inspector of Police, a collaborator and reputedly exceptionally brutal torturer, is liquidated near their home by members of the Dutch Resistance.

Thus by a process of association, the narrative here reflects and reinforces Anton’s view that the evil which befell his parents could not be blamed on any individuals, just as a volcanic eruption cannot, nor could it have been prevented. The notion of burying (by ash) also resonates with how Anton deals with his memories of the assault. One might certainly argue that Anton is wrong in this regard, that (as the woman in the cell said) individuals are responsible for their choices; the fact is that Anton found this fact too painful, or the puzzle too complicated, and therefore simply resorted to viewing the whole event as a catastrophe and leaving it at that.

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A Family Occupation by Jolanda Vanderwal Taylor

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