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Philosopher and writer Jannah Loontjens (2014/15) came to NIAS to focus on a book of essays. "First I was working on a book on Heidegger, but while writing it I realised that it should become something totally different. Now the book is on the zeitgeist and dominant philosophical theories in the eighties and nineties of the twentieth century." Roaring Nineties Or How Philosophy Changed My Life was published in March 2016.
Roaring Nineties describes our most recent fin de siècle and compares it with the present day. It was a time when it was believed the great wars were over. It was before 9/11, before the advent of mobile telephony and the Internet, a time of multicultural ideals, prosperity and optimism.
In the Roaring Nineties, Jannah Loontjens examines the image we have of that decade and the years leading up to it. She describes her experiences in the squat in The Hague where she lived with her mother. She talks about her philosophy studies in New York, where she was taught by the philosopher Derrida, about her job as a gogo dancer in nightclubs, and the post-structuralist thought that was fashionable at the time. She also looks back on her childhood in Sweden where, under a starry sky in a dark forest, the first big metaphysical questions crossed her mind. With reference to the work of Derrida, Baudrillard, Butler and Heidegger, Loontjens shows how her own life is connected with philosophy, and how major philosophical questions can go hand in hand with practical matters.
‘Loontjens has lived through all the caricatures of the seventies, eighties and nineties, yet nothing is what it seems in this philosophical coming of age.’ – Coen Simon
Jannah Loontjens (1974) is a philosopher and writer. In 2007 she debuted with the novel Good Luck. Her second novel, What Time Really (2011), and the essay collection My Life is Better than Literature (2013) were received with critical acclaim. Her last novel, But Then Again (2014), will be published in Denmark and Hungary. Loontjens teaches literary theory and literary writing at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie. Jannah Loontjens spend two semesters at NIAS as the writer-in-residence 2014/15, a fellowship co-sponsored by the Dutch Foundation for Literature.
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