“Dit land is een paradijs, dat ze op onverantwoordelijke wijze kapot willen maken.” Een postkoloniaal ecokritische analyse van vier romans van Frank Martinus Arion (1936-2015)

Translated title of the thesis: “This land is a paradise, that they want to destroy in an irresponsible manner.” A postcolonial ecocritical analysis of four novels of Frank Martinus Arion (1936-2015)
  • I.P. Homans

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    This research is a postcolonial ecocritical analysis of the representation of interactions with the local environment in work of Curaçaoan-Dutch writer Frank Martinus Arion (1936-2015) in the light of cosmopolitan bioregionalism and contemporary ecological imperialism or ecological neocolonialism. I analysed which elements of those concepts could be recognized in Arion’s novels. Also, I looked at the interaction between the concepts and I compared the novels. I have analysed four novels of Arion: Dubbelspel (Double play; 1973), Afscheid van de koningin (Farewell to the queen; 1975), Nobele wilden (Noble savages; 1979) and De laatste vrijheid (The ultimate freedom; 1995). To conduct my analysis, I have used the insights of the econarratology.
    Cosmopolitan bioregionalism is a form of bioregionalism that is developed by Mitchell Thomashow. Like bioregionalism, it pays attention to sustainability and living-in-place, which means using what a place provides in a sustainable way. However, it adds to that a focus on relations between to local and the global.1 Ecological neocolonialism is the present ecological control that governments exert on former colonies.2 For an understanding of ecological neocolonialism the term ‘slow violence’ of Rob Nixon is vital, that is a gradual and attritional violence of which especially people who lack resources are the victims.3
    My research of Arion’s novels provides interesting insights. Firstly, it indicates an increase in attention for the environment in Arion’s novels. Also, my research shows that living-in-place and sustainability can be recognized in the way his novels pay attention to the relationship between the physical environment and people. Besides, there is a clear relationship between the global and the local in his novels. There are counterforces in his novels originating from ecological neocolonialism, in which often slow violence can be recognized, that make harmoniously living together with nature harder. However, his novels express the conviction that a sustainable attitude towards nature will persevere if people work together from an international solidarity.

    1 Mitchell Thomashow, ‘Toward a cosmopolitan bioregionalism’ in: Michael Vincent McGinnis ed., Bioregionalism (e-boekuitgave; Londen en New York 2005) 121-132, aldaar 121; Peter Berg en Raymond Dasmann, ‘Reinhabiting California’ in: Cheryll Glotfelty en Eve Quesnel ed., The biosphere and the bioregion. Essential writings of Peter Berg (Londen en New York 2015) 35-40, aldaar 35.
    2 Graham Huggan en Helen Tiffin, Postcolonial ecocriticism. Literature, animals and environment (herz. ed.; Londen en New York 2015) 32 en 90-91.
    3 Rob Nixon, Slow violence and the environmentalism of the poor (Cambridge, Massachusetts en Londen 2011) 2 en 4.
    Date of Award1 Feb 2023
    Original languageDutch
    SupervisorMarieke Winkler (Supervisor) & Caroline Drieënhuizen (Examiner)


    • cultuurgeschiedenis
    • Frank Martinus Arion

    Master's Degree

    • Master Kunst en Cultuurwetenschappen

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