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Tydskrif vir Letterkunde

On-line version ISSN 2309-9070
Print version ISSN 0041-476X


T'SJOEN, Yves. Writing after Auschwitz, after apartheid, after the digital turn. Tydskr. letterkd. [online]. 2015, vol.52, n.1, pp.94-112. ISSN 2309-9070.

In this paper I discuss the concept of "engaged poetry" and the position of poetry with a so-called ethic dimension in the digital era. Taking the famous aphorism by Theodor W. Adorno as a starting point-"Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch" ("After Auschwitz writing poetry is barbaric")-and the two different interpretations of that statement formulated by the philosopher himself, I consider the relevance of the term "engaged literature". I am aware that this article not only summarizes Adorno's points of view, but I also present my own personal poetics as an academic and as a reader of modern poetry. I refer to contemporary poetry of Afrikaans in South Africa and Dutch, more particularly literature in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, to illustrate my point.

Keywords : Afrikaans poetry; committed poetry; digital turn; Dutch poetry; T. W. Adorno.

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