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David Van Reybrouck

Teoksen Kongo : historia tekijä

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Tietoja tekijästä

David Van Reybrouck (Bruges, 1971) was trained as an archaeologist at the universities of Leuven, Cambridge and Leiden. Before becoming a highly successful literary author (The Plague, Mission, Congo), he worked as a historian of ideas. For more than twelve years, he was coeditor of Archaeological näytä lisää Dialogues. In 2011-12, he held the prestigious Cleveringa Chair at the University of Leiden. näytä vähemmän

Tekijän teokset

Kongo : historia (2010) 1,009 kappaletta
Against Elections (2013) 221 kappaletta
Revolusi (2020) 187 kappaletta
Zink (2016) 152 kappaletta
A Jihad for Love (2017) — Toimittaja — 59 kappaletta
Slagschaduw roman (2007) 38 kappaletta
Pleidooi voor populisme pamflet (2008) 34 kappaletta
Odes (2018) 25 kappaletta
Vrede kun je leren (2017) 22 kappaletta
De kolonisatie van de toekomst (2021) 9 kappaletta
Para theatermonoloog (2016) 6 kappaletta

Associated Works

The Great Regression (2017) — Avustaja — 28 kappaletta
Noord en Zuid poëten in het Vlaams parlement : bloemlezing 2004 (2004) — Avustaja, eräät painokset9 kappaletta

Merkitty avainsanalla


Virallinen nimi
Van Reybrouck, David Grégoire
Muut nimet
Van Reybrouck, David
Brugge, België
Palkinnot ja kunnianosoitukset
Gouden Ganzenveer (2014)



‘The apologies for the history of slavery and the police actions, as made by the king, will be withdrawn.’ So promised the Netherlands’ right-wing firebrand lawmaker Geert Wilders ahead of the country’s 2023 election. On this subject, Wilders is no far-right outlier. Early in Revolusi, David Van Reybrouck quotes a YouGov poll from 2019 which found that 50 per cent of Dutch respondents were proud of the country’s colonial past – vastly more than the British at 32 per cent or the French at 26 per cent. Van Reybrouck, a Belgian historian who explored his own country’s colonial legacy in 2010’s Congo, notes that 23 per cent of respondents from Belgium were proud of that history. The horrors that the Netherlands unleashed on Indonesia are hardly unique in Europe’s history of imperialism. Why are the Dutch so much prouder than their European cousins?

Call it the ‘VOC mentality’ says Van Reybrouck. The Dutch East Indies were not initially conquered by the Dutch Crown. Rather it was the Dutch East India Company (known by its Dutch initials) that first sailed to the archipelago in the early 1600s on the hunt for the natural resources such as spices and (later) rubber that would make it a corporate giant. For three centuries the VOC – and then the Netherlands itself – fed off Indonesia.

It’s often been said that Indonesia is the world’s largest ‘invisible country’. If that’s true, the revolution beginning in 1945 must surely be the most consequential ‘invisible revolution’ of the last hundred years. Where and when it began, exactly, is difficult to pin down. Nationalism in Indonesia has deep and varied roots, but most scholars – and Indonesians – point to the Sumpah Pemuda, or Youth Pledge, announced at the Second Youth Congress of October 1928 as a decisive moment. Through the pledge, still commemorated annually, attendees committed to ‘one motherland’, ‘one nation’ and ‘one language’. It would take nearly 20 years and a Japanese occupation before an independent state was declared by founding president Sukarno in 1945. The Netherlands, however, had little interest in giving up its Asian colony. In jungle battles and UN meeting rooms it fought for years to keep a grip on Indonesia. How it came to have that grip is a story centuries in the making.

Van Reybrouck explains the complicated social strata of the Dutch East Indies in the prewar era by drawing an analogy with a (then) famous steamship tragedy. In 1936 the Van der Wijck steamboat, a shuttle service running between Batavia (now Jakarta) and Makassar in Sulawesi, was sunk off the north coast of Java. The boat, says Van Reybrouck, was a lively microcosm of colonial society. Europeans enjoyed the top deck, non-white foreigners and Indos (mixed-race Indonesian-Europeans) jostled for space on the second, while native Indonesians suffered in cramped conditions on the third. The Van der Wijck tragedy suggests why so many stories remain missing from Indonesia’s history: the names of those on the lowest deck were simply never recorded.

Read the rest of the review at HistoryToday.com.

Erin Cook
is a journalist based in Jakarta. She writes about Southeast Asia at Dari Mulut ke Mulut and The Diplomat.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
HistoryToday | 5 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Mar 4, 2024 |
Persist. The book grew on me. First tried to read it in 2015 – it sounded all made up. Oral testimony of Stanley’s first descent of the Congo dated to 01 February 1877 “at two in the afternoon”?
Succeeded in 2023 after first appreciating Olivia Manning’s forgotten account of the Emin Pasha ‘rescue’ – and also the general background provided by Pakenham.
Van Reybrouck has a very detailed commentary on his sources – it is at the back of the book, but should be read first.
The account of Congo post WWII to Mobutu is riveting. Details of musicians allow tracks to be located on Spotify.
Post Mobutu – beyond harrowing. The translator could not face taking much care with the gruesome details in Chapter 12. “The second Congo War” officially ended in 2003. It was not over in 2010, or in 2023.
Then the stories of beer and music. The head of Heineken in Congo in 2005 became the international CEO. Also a great insight into developing Congo-China relationships from 1978 to 2008. The book is a travelogue as well as a history, with insights from interviews with Congolese people, from children to warlords.
No photos – Van Reybrouck says he is too respectful of photography as an art form to appropriate anyone’s work. He gives some internet references, many of which no longer work.
The maps are poor – You can use google maps to some degree, but it takes a lot of time to follow the narrative, given the need to find maps elsewhere.
Badly made book – printed in the USA on cheap paper that is becoming yellow and foxed, and with an inferior binding for this ‘first edition’.
Where the author relies on quotations from publications originally in English, the translator has not used the original source, but has apparently re-translated from the Dutch.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
mnicol | 31 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Dec 26, 2023 |
It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have read this book. I did not rush through it; i took my time to digest, the material, understand how it explained where this country-my country-is today.
The History course we get from school barely scratches the surface and it highly depend on how well motivated that particular teacher is, this book goes much much deeper so it was like i was discovering my country's history for the first time.
So, thank you Mr David for such amazing work. I hope this book inspires us to be better Congolese than what we've been so far.… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
NG_YbL | 31 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 12, 2023 |

David Van Reybrouck is one of Belgium’s best known public intellectuals, and this was his essay commissioned for the annual Dutch language Book Week Essay in 2016. It’s the story of the peculiar enclave of Neutral Moresnet, a small territory run jointly by Prussia and the Netherlands, later Belgium and Germany, from 1815 until the first world war, noted for its zinc mine, casino, gin distilleries and freedom from neighbouring jurisdictions. It was annexed by Germany in the first world war, and by Belgium afterwards, and survives only in its boundary markers today.

Van Reybrouck tells the story of one of its inhabitants, born Joseph Rixen in 1903 but brought up as Emil Pauly, and explains the shifting concept of Neutral Moresnet’s identity through his story. There are also diversions to Esperanto, which claimed Moresnet as its world capital at one point, and to the last living person who was born there, Catharina Meessen.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
nwhyte | 4 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 13, 2023 |



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