Frans Zonnevijlle



  • Tena koe! :)

  • I found both courses organized by Te Pape informative, interesting and well-balanced. Although I was acquainted with the main facts about NZ/Aotearoa's history and culture I learned a lot during these courses. Iwas was touched by the story of Cook's guide Tupaia, a fascinating figure.
    One aspect I liked in particular was that each course consisted of...

  • In the panel underneath the video you see a symbol "subtitles" Push on it once, subtitles appear, touch twice, they disappear. I guess you might have to move your mouse to the very bottom of the video to see the symbols appear.

  • A wonderful tour of magnificent works of art, if one may put it that way. I liked the stereographic effects in particular: I could retrace my steps as I walked through the exhibition in 2018. It compensates for the fact that photography was not allowed.

  • I saw Te Hau ki Tūranga while visiting Te Papa a few years ago, but I didn't realise its importance at the time. Thank you for higlighting its significance!

  • @HarryNichol That's the difference with the Dutch. They didn't opt for settling the Dutch East Indies, which were already in part densely settled. They just exploited the population to the hilt. The situation is rather similar to that which prevailed in India at that time.

  • Somewhat similar activities are going on in the USA, where the First People ( American Indians are slowly moving in the same direction. But the conflicts between indigenous people and colonists were much more serious and on a much larger scale than in New Zealand. From what I know about the situation in the US the position of the Maori is much more advanced...

  • @HarryNichol Yes, that happened in February 2022. And next year the Dutch government will apologize for the enslavement of so many people over the centuries, probably in the former colony Surinam, where the majority of the inhabitants descend from former slaves.
    The situation in the Dutch East Indies in the late 19th and 20th century seems to be different...

  • Auckland Museum also has an excellent collection of Maori artefacts and objects. I visited it mainly because it was raining too hard to do anything else... I'm glad it rained that day!

  • @MelThompson Sorry, I meant weka of course. I saw lot of those, trying to get stepped upon by visitors at Captain Cook Monument, on a tour organized by the cruise ship company. It was moored at Picton!

  • @MelThompson Thank you for the information. I located the first book in a local university library, whereas the second one is available in a Kindle edition.

  • @HarryNichol Good question! In the 19th century the Dutch were extending their power over the East Indies in much the same way as the English extended their power in India. However, the Dutch were too few to be able to extend their colonial empire beyond the East Indies. They did venture beyond that empire (Tasman was one example) but weren't too keen to...

  • Exactly.

  • @LodewijkJanNauta You're welcome, or graag gedaan!

  • New Zealand is full of signs of French presence and activities. The best example is the town of Akaroa, near Christchurch, which was founded by the French around 1840. It still carries many French names, for tourism's sake. In fact, the French did try to get hold of New Zealand, but they moved too slowly, so the British got ahead of them (as usual).

  • I visited Waitangi Treaty Grounds whil vacationing in NZ and enjoyed the superb exhibition mounted in the recently opened museum there. The visit left me with a bitter taste in the mouth.
    Later, the performance in Te Whare Runanga and an expert explanation of how a war canoe was built and maneuvered showed more positive developments in the fraught...

  • Good question! But they didn't sign putting an "X", but beautiful stylized birds and other symbols.

  • "Since 1840, governments have not always upheld the Treaty promise of protection for Māori." The euphemism of the year!
    Reading this section provokes a feeling of déjà vu; similar attitudes and actions occurred at innumerable places in almost any part of the world, from the USA to the Dutch East Indies, in the 19th and 20th century.

  • That narrows it down to 1850-1899. A better caption would have been "19th century"...

  • I would never have thought potatoes would play such a big role in the history of New Zealand

  • FYI, Tasman's role in the discovery of New Zealand is briefly discussed in another interesting NZ MOOC: New Zealand: Landscape as Culture, Week 1.
    Being a Dutchman too, I feel Tasman should indeed have been mentioned, even if briefly, in the narrative. His explorations and discoveries have been quite important for the extension of knowledge of the region...

  • Good to see a lunar calender still in active use. I wonder whether the insertion of extra months follows a pattern set by other lunar calendars.

  • There is an amusing typo in the caption of the picture of the two Maori women: it must have been taken around 1900. Photography hadn't been invented yet in 1800!

  • This step yields more questions than answers. Is there a "home island" for Polynesians? Where did they start their odyssey? How did they combine star navigation with stick charts representing ocean swells and currents (see and other navigational aids? Do all Polynesians speak the same language, more...

  • My trip to NZ started with a cruise beginning in Sydney. On board the ship were a group of Maori who for several days introduced the passangers to Maori culture and folklore. So I learned the words of a haka and even how to perform one (although not very well).
    That whetted my appetite for learning more about Maori arts and culture and one place where I...

  • I made a trip to New Zealand four years ago and was fascinated by the country - the natural wonders, the people and the food!
    Doing the Tongariro Alpine Crossing was an unforgettable highlight in my mountain walking career.

  • I really enjoyed this short course. Amazing how much information has been put together in these two weeks, neatly inserting videos and other material when needed.
    I visited Te Papa museum four years ago while on a cruise from Australia to NZ. The allotted time, altough generous, almost three hours) was far too short to visit all the fascinating exhibits. I'm...

  • @ShelaghT Why? Are they really? I don't have the impression they destroy the ecosystem they live in. Their greenhouse gas footprint is important, I conced that.

  • I like the work done on studying NZ birds, in particular penguins and specifically the little penguin that nests on South Island - adorable birds! I watched a TV documentary recently where it played a big role.

  • Interesting. Could you give us some references for these actions?

  • Visiting the museum is a must once you've arrived at New Zealand. I have never seen a more beautifully laid out museum - it's gorgeous!

  • Two truly intriguing and unique animals: the tuatara and the ground-dwelling bats. I never had heard of the latter.

  • I spent a three-week holiday in New Zealand in 2017 and had the opportunity to observe various indigenous birds, even a kiwi (briefly, in the dark) at Te Puia, near Rotorua. I was surprised by the behaviour of the wakas (also flightless) who weren't afraid at all of humans. I also enjoyed watching royal albatroses, seals and Hector's dolphins near Picton.

  • @MelThompson Thanks for the information! I possess a copy of Blaeu's Atlas Maior and did find the term Nova Zeelandia on the corresponding map.
    Another lead could be the fact that Australia was called by the VOC "Nieuw Holland". So Nieuw Zeeland would be a good choice for a smaller area in the same general area. Why Zeeland? I now realise that Zeeland was the...

  • I recently visited New Zealand and got acquainted with much of this week's material. But the succinct discussion of the geology of New Zealand in the series of inserted videos was most informative and my personal highlight for this week.

  • From what I have gathered earthquakes caused by natural gas drilling are a much more serious threat than naturally occurring ones.

  • I've had the privilege to visit the calderas of two of the world's biggest volcanoes, Taipo and Teide, on Tenerife. One a lake, the other dry. Two quite different experiences, but equally impressive.

  • As mentioned in the text there is a torsion, a twisting around the main fault line, and that can indeed be seen as a slow way of tearing up the two Islands.

  • The geology of Aoteaora is a fascinating subject, and I expect to learn more about it in this course. I myself am a retired professor of inorganic chemistry, which is a good link to geology.

  • I did a cruise around New Zealand and a tour a the North Island, and was blown away by its natural and cultural beauty. I now take any opportunity I get to learn more about this fascinating country.
    By the way, I wonder why the country is called New Zealand. The landscapes have nothing whatsoever to do with Zealand (part of the Netherlands), my "home country".

  • @SophieDieckmann I agree the compiler has opted for several framing stories to keep the collection together throughout the 28 volumes. One can get a good idea of what "KSS" is all about by reading the framing story The King and the vampire that frames twenty.five vampire stories. A good selection of KSS stories can be found in: J.A.B. van Buitenen, Tales of...

  • @RayvnDale I haven't read Annie Proulx' book, but I certainly agree that the Calvino book is a post-modernist framed narrative that requires several readings to sort it all out, at least in my case.

  • A very informative interview. I particularly liked the very apt comparison of a collection of short stories with a concept album.

  • Thanks for the informative references. I did forget the Whitbread Prize, which is quite an important one. I think I begin to understand the difference between all these prizes.

  • @MariaTeresaPerezFernandezdeLiger I agree, defamiliarization is exactly the right term. for what's going on here.

  • A naive question: What's the difference, criteria-wise, between the James Tait Black Prize and the Booker Prize?

  • The photo used as illustration for this step shows the Golden Gai district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. It would be an excellent setting for, say, a white-collar crime novel!

  • @JohnSanford That's right, but it is also part of the fun: construct your dialogues in such a fashion that the reader can deduce who says what.

  • @MariaTeresaPerezFernandezdeLiger The question is, of course, does the rodent story contribute directly or indirectly to the overall story line, or is it "just" a funny insert? I haven't read the book yet, but I am curious to know the answer.

  • A quite enjoyable interview. I liked the author's admission the rodents aren't essential, but kept in the text because he likes them and at the same time is afraid of them.

  • @MichaelMischler Hauptmann's piece Die Weber is indeed an excellent example of how dialect can be used to amplify the effect of the text on the spectators.

  • I think Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass contain some of the best dialogue I have read so far:

    Alice (to the Cheshire Cat): Would you tell me please, which way I ought to go from here?
    Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to go to.
    Alice: - so long as I get somewhere.
    Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that,...

  • I like dialogues in a novel, as long as the aren't interrupted by stock phrases such as those cited in the video: "she said" or "he mumbled". Lots of run-of-the-mill novels are marred by the frequent use of superfluous stock phrases.

  • My favourite character is Gisli Sursson, the hero of Gisli's saga. It is a complicated story, but at some stage Gisli kills a man, rightfully, according to local standards, provided he announces himself as the killer, which he doesn't. He is haunted by the killing and finally betrays himself indirectly. He is outlawed and killed after many years of hiding and...

  • @InekeFioole Defining postmodernism and postmodern writing isn't easy. Let me just cite the first line of the Wikipedia entry on the subject:
    Postmodern literature is a form of literature that is characterized by the use of metafiction, unreliable narration, self-reflexivity, intertextuality, and which often thematizes both historical and political...

  • I like the typical unreliable third-person narrators who wrote the ostensibly objective Icelandic sagas. For many years critics and public alike thought these chronicles to be an objective rendering of Icelandic family history, but it is now clear that the authors had hidden agendas and that the sagas are certainly not reliable historical sources at all.

  • @SarahHinds You're welcome!

  • The unreliable narrator is a typically postmodern posture. Virginia Woolf's books are classic examples. The author Woolf is an unreliable narrator who doesn't seem to know or foresee everything that is happening in her stories.

  • I never realised "framed narrative" also means a literary work created in concentric circles around a main plot. To me, a framed narrative or frame story is rather a work in which several stories simply succeed each other within a general story outline, like 1001 Nights, the Canterbury Tales and Decamerone. I have read many framed-narrative works, but I am...

  • It's not my favourite novel, but it is a unique little book that has no beginning and no end: a perpetual or circular story. It consists of 40 pages held together by a spiral so that you can start reading the text at any page you want.
    The title is "Gevangen!" (Caught, Captive) and it was written by Gerben Hellinga. I have never seen another text like it.

  • @KatharinaHuber I share your preference for magic realists. Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Jorge Luis Borges are two representatives of the genre I admire very much, and I just made a comment on my favourite book, Murakami's Wind-up Bird Chronicle...

  • My (current) favourite book is Haruki Murakami's The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. I love it because, after reading it several times, gradually I understand it better and better (I think). And the stories within the book are little jewels by themselves. This is an aspect that probably will appear later in course, the frame story with its intercalated stories.

  • Flashbacks and flash-forwards are for similar reasons the bread and butter of the movie industry,.

  • In the book "Ungewisser Tatbestand" (sonderreihe dtv 27 sr) a simple six-line anecdote (the "story") is developed by 16 authors into 16 short stories with 16 different plots. It nicely illustrates the difference between story and plot.

  • A case of serendipity: I looked up the EM Forster essay, and the first thing I noticed was a reference to a roundtable on Haruki Murakami, one of my favourite authors!

  • @InekeFioole Hallo Ineke, I followed your advice and signed up for this course, the first in this genre I have ever taken.

  • In the meantime, may I recommend two MOOCs offered by edx?
    1. Japanese Books: from Manuscript to Print
    2. Invitation to the Tale of Genji
    Both MOOCs are excellent.
    In fact, one of these MOOCs referred to a MOOC of Keio University! That's why I am here....

  • For me, the limited number of books I can carry when on vacation is an advantage: it forces me to think hard about which books to take with me. And then I decide to include at least one book that is languishing in my library and that I probably wouldn't even read if I had it with me on an e-reader.

  • Just give Tolkien a try and start with The Hobbit. You might well love it. At least that's the way I got hooked to Tolkien.

  • @ColmClancy A nice example of one-upmanship: there is a Dutch version dating back to the twelfth century, according to which St. Brendan actually made a voyage around the world, lasting nine years: De Reis van Sinte Brandaen. So he bested not only the Vikings, or Columbus, but even Magellan!

  • One might argue that the oldest piece of fiction is the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. It is a moving story that touches on the same universal issues as Homer's work that is heavily influenced by it: jealousy, longing for friendship and company, wish to become immortal, etc. And all in less than 100 pages...

  • I found this interesting post on the Internet on horaisan - a vision of Utopia:

  • There is a very short (7 pages) Kindle book with this title available for 1 euro on

  • Small wonder that current travel guides are very frequently heavily illustrated!

  • My favourite "travel" book is Bruce Chatwin's Songlines. It goes way beyond the usual occupations of authors of travel books.

  • @InekeFioole I should have said I read Homer's Ulysses twice, i.e. I also read a sexy comic book version of Ulysses, in which Homer himself plays an important role - very funny! It was drawn/written by Georges Pichard and Jacques Lob in the purest 1960s Barbarella/Pravda style and published by Glénat.

  • The illustration is from Hartmann Schedel's Nuremberg Chronicle (or Weltchronik 1493). You can buy a good facsimile edition dirt cheap from Taschen.
    This was a commercial publication, of which some 2'000 copies were made in the early 1500s. Most books were not coloured. The colouring wasn't rushed, it was simply carried out according to convention: for a...

  • The book must have been rebound way after the period in which it was used as a praxer book, i.e. by a recent owner.

  • Lucy must have owned a fashionable leather handbag, perhaps even a Gucci or Cartier one...

  • It is indeed a superbly imagined place, and the description of it is haunting.

  • One of my favourite books is indeed Defoe's A Tour Through the Whole Island of Great Britain. My copy is a beautifully illustrated edition of the Folio Society (again...). Defoe didn't visit all the places he describes, but that can be said of the authors of many travel books I suppose...

  • I like all three books/tales/movies. My copy of The Pillow Book is the Ivan Morris translation. Morris also wrote a magnificent introduction to the Tale of Genji: The World of the Shining Prince.

  • His Dark Materials would be a good choice for a Desert Island book.

  • The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, together in a handy single volume.
    As many Icelandic sagas as one can stuff in a single volume, at least Egill's and Njall's saga, plus a few accompanying Iceandic short stories.
    Both in the form of genuine, hardbound books, of course.

  • I spend two times two months every year in a holiday home in Spain, going there by car, so I take every time 5 to 10 books with me. Usually I choose one or two heavyweights (a book by Pynchon, for example, and/or a serious non-fiction book) and several books in a lighter mood. I never finish reading them all and sometimes I take the non-read ones with me for...

  • @TomDussman Last year I challenged myself to read several difficult/very long/"boring" books that had been sitting in my library for many years. So last year I read Ulysses (both Homer's and Joyce's), the Iliad, The Tale of Genji followed by Tōson's Before the Dawn, Thomas Pynchon's Against the Day, the Divine Comedy and the Sturlunga Saga (the only recent...

  • Come on, cheer up! Google Maps and Apple's Places are two very actively used apps on my iPhone!

  • I totally agree with you on Jan Morris's Venice! "Landfall" is indeed magical. I myself own the beautifully illustrated Folio Society edition of 2008. Venice has changed a lot since Morris wrote her book, but is is still a magnificent city. Churches there often do not contain much information for tourists, so I have sometimes been in Lucy's predicament.

  • I like extremely outdated travel guides because of their historical interest. The one I treasure most is the Guide illustré de la Pologne by Dr. M. Orłowicz, published in 1927, just a few years after Poland became independent again in 1918. The combination of historical, cultural and tourist-oriented information is fascinating.

  • So you are the Baedeker/Michelin type person! Fortunately there are still numerous guidebooks available that are heavy on history and architecture.

  • @ColmClancy Thank you for the links. I have been planning to do the Kumano Kodo since 2020. I had the whole trip planned and booked, but then Covid-19 blocked everything. I have postponed my trip several times, now to 2023. Hopefully the route won't be overrun by then. For this part of the trip I had booked everything through the Tanabe Tourist Office.

  • Your post made me check for my largest, wordiest etc books.
    The largest and heaviest "book", size wise, is the Atlas van Nederland, a loose-leaf "book" from the '60s that measures some 57 x 37 cm and weighs over 10 kg. The heftiest traditional book is The History of Venice in Paintings, published by Abbeville Press (almost 8 kg), the wordiest probably my own...

  • Another type of "doodle" one may encounter in manuscripts is the probatio pennae, or pen test, "scribble" , where the scribe tests a newly cut pen in the margin of a manuscript or, more frequently, on blotting paper before continuing his writing. One probatio pennae consisted of the first words of Old Dutch recognized as such, dating back to 1100.

  • @BarryLowden I agree that relying on a smartphone can be risky. Imagine losing your phone or worse still, have it stolen. Sometimes I am forced to use it, sometimes I can (and will) choose another option.

  • @InekeFioole I am not aware of any edition in four parts, but the overall length of Genji is ca. 1200-1300 pages, so that fits your description. Incidentally, new hardbound complete editions of Genji can be found on for €30 or less, and a paperback version of the excellent Washburn translation for.€23.

  • @InekeFioole Both very interesting MOOCs indeed. I liked the one on washi paper best.

  • @WilliamDoyle Thanks for drawing my attention to it. I haven't seen the series (yet). I only recently got access to the History channel.

  • @BarryLowden That's exactly the way I do it too!