Werkwinkel: Journal of Low Countries and South African Studies, published by the Department of Dutch and South African Studies at the University of Poznan in Poland, is a unique publication in the context of Eastern Europe.
Founded by Jerzy Koch, a Polish scholar of Dutch and Afrikaans literature, in 2005, the journal publishes scholarly articles in Polish, English, Dutch and Afrikaans, straddling a wide and heterogeneous cultural space. In the postcolonial world, however, connections are never too far. In July 2012, the University of Poznan awarded an honorary doctorate to the South African writer and Nobel Prize winner J. M. Coetzee. In his acceptance speech, Coetzee spoke about his Polish great-grandfather, Balcer Dubyl, born in 1844 in the province of Poznan, whose life took him to South Africa as a missionary. Issue 7.2 (2012) of Werkwinkel is dedicated to Coetzee's visit to the University of Poznan, the conferral of the honorary doctorate and the programme accompanying the festive occasion, such as the world premiere of the opera Slow Man, based on Coetzee's novel of the same name, with a libretto written by the author himself and set to music by the Flemish composer Nicholas Lens. Photographs from the performance accompany interviews with the artists involved, offering new angles and perspectives on Coetzee's work. In addition, the issue includes three scholarly papers on Coetzee by Polish scholars and several book reviews. The broad range of insightful new material is an important contribution to the scholarship on the work of J. M. Coetzee, one of a few world authors to have become a "classic" in his own lifetime. The much awaited official biography of Coetzee by the South African scholar John Kannemeyer is to be released this summer.
Werkwinkel: Journal of Low Countries and South African Studies.
Ed. Jerzy Koch. Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, Vol. 7, Number 2