Schrijven na Auschwitz, na apartheid, na de digital turn
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.