Kropp, rum och främlingsskap i Willem Frederik Hermans roman 'Nooit meer slapen' (Aldrig mera sova, 1966)


  • Sophie Wennerscheid


Kropp, rum, rörelse, identitet, kulturkonflikt, rationalitetskritik, destabilisering, osäkerhet.


This contribution examines the representation of place and body in Willem H. Hermans novel Nooit meer slapen (1966) (Beyond Sleep). Special attention is paid to the question of how the protagonist, a young Dutch PhD candidate in geology, makes his way through Norwegian Finnmark, an area he does not know but is eager to explore. At the beginning of his journey, Alfred feels certain about the world's measurability and, consequently, the human capacity to control both the world and humanity's superior position in it. Soon, however, he learns about his body's embeddedness in nature and thus its fragility. Drawing on Maurice Merleau-Ponty's critique of the Cartesian worldview and the subject-object dichotomy, Hermans' novel is read as a critical engagement with unchallenged rationality and enlightenment.