Paradise revisited: waar blijft de tijd? De vormgeving van een kritische eigentijds Nederlandse homoseksuele identiteit in Boven is het stil (2006) van Gerbrand Bakker en Broer (2012) van Maurits de Bruijn
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In this thesis, two recent Dutch novels with homosexual protagonists are analyzed: Boven is het stil (2006) by Gerbrand Bakker and Broer (2012) by Maurits de Bruijn, respectively. The main question is: how do the novels give form to a critical homosexual identity in relation to the context of present day the Netherlands? By way of a close reading of the novels it will be argued how literature, as a specific form of language usage, can be instrumentalized for the sake of furthering the LGBTQIA+-emancipation in present day the Netherlands. The argumentation draws from recent insights from the field of queer studies, especially the work of Lee Edelman (1998), Heather Love (2007), José Muñoz (2009), Elizabeth Freeman (2010), and Jack Halberstam (2011). These works all connect queerness to the notion of temporality: the relationship between human existence and time. Central to their understandings of temporality are the historical consciousness of homo-, queer-, and transphobia, as well as the hope for a better future for queer individuals. With this approach, I aim to broaden the conceptualization of homosexuality in present day the Netherlands in general, and in Dutch literature, specifically. In recent years, homosexuality in the Netherlands has most prominently been discussed in relation to the uprise of nationalism since the beginning of the twenty-first century, as a result of the war on terror. Furthermore, very little research has been done on Dutch novels with homosexual protagonists that were published after the 1980s. Therefore, the thesis departs from the standpoint that research on homosexuality in Dutch academia so far is often problematic and/or inconclusive. The aim is to help further a context-specific framework about homosexuality in the Netherlands for the (Dutch) humanities in general, and for literary studies and Dutch studies, specifically.