Fugitive Dreams

An Anthology of Dutch Colonial Literature


In the seventeenth century, Dutch seafarers brought back reports of journeys to the East Indies, a realm of more than 3,000 islands that for over three centuries would be under Dutch rule. The twelve-volume Library of the Indies presents in English translation, with critical introductions and notes, a substantial body of the literature that arose from the Dutch encounter with the tropical Indies. Fugitive Dreams is the final volume in the Library of the Indies. It presents a selection of creative and critical writings by eight authors who span the Dutch colonial presence in Indonesia, ranging around 1600 to the beginning of the Second World War. The authors are Willem Bontekoe, Alexander Coen, Franz Wilhelm Junghuhn, Kartini, Herman Neubroner van der Turk, Francois Valentijn, Bas Veth, and Willem Walraven. The translated texts are accompanied by essays by E.M. Beekman on such topics as Holland's maritime history, seventeenth-century intellectual life, the life of the ordinary foot soldier in the colonial army, the first Javanese advocate of women's rights, and the beauty of the tropics.

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