Borges is here to stay.

Tuesday 10 October 2023, 10:30 am
PhD student
M.N. Botterweg MA
prof. dr. B.Y.A. Adriaensen, prof. dr. M. Steenmeijer, prof. dr. M.P.J. Sanders (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen)
Faculty of Arts

The Argentinian author Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) has played a significant role in Dutch literature. This PhD thesis maps the significance of Borges' work for the literary works and poetics of Doeschka Meijsing, Frans Kellendonk, and Willem Jan Otten. The common denominator in these authors’ reception of Borges' work is that they all at some point expressed the view that our perception of reality is a subjective construct. In doing so, they referred to many different texts by Borges. The thematisation of sceptical views of reality by these authors did not lead to persistent relativism: rather, they were searching for ways to relate to reality. In doing so, they were more closely akin to Borges than many critics have hitherto assumed. In Borges, they found a writer and a reader with whom they shared a belief in the power of literature to give meaning to our reality, to our identity – if only for the duration of a story. 

Meike Botterweg studied Dutch and Spanish Language and Literature, and completed the Research Master's programme in Literature and Literature Studies at Radboud University. Her research on the reception of Borges' work in Dutch literature brings these fields of enquiry together. She now works as a lecturer in communication and research at HAN University of Applied Sciences.