Roaring Nineties 

Roaring Nineties

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 tele- phony 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.


‘With Roaring Nineties Jannah Loontjens has written a nostalgic ode to the 1990s, years of freedom and abundance.’ – Folia Magazine

‘Loontjens shows that philosophy is never merely philosophical. The philosophical is personal; and only when it becomes personal it is truly philosophical.’ – iFilosofie

‘Writer and philosopher Jannah Loontjens (born 1974) has compiled her very readable articles on the years prior to 9/11, which she describes in Roaring Nineties as ‘a time of multicultural ideals, prosperity and optimism’.’ – NRC Handelsblad

‘In Roaring Nineties philosopher and writer Jannah Loontjens interweaves memories of her personal life with observations about the nineties and the current decade.’ – Volkskrant

‘She [Jannah Loontjens] reminds us of the advent of home video, of films such as Pulp Fiction, but also of the Gulf War and the final days of the typewriter. And above all, she thinks about the zeitgeist of those years, which in retrospect almost feel innocent.’- Trouw

Roaring Nineties is nominated for Best Spiritual Book of 2016: ‘The jury found that this book offers a fascinating insight into the nineties generation and the flip side of options, freedom, the physical space to choose and doubts about choices, the fear of finality, the dismantling of religion as a certainty, philosophy as an aid in our search. Captivating as a snapshot of the era and, thanks to the very personal context of the writer, interesting as an interpretation of the current demand for meaning from this generation who grew up in the nineties.’

Jannah Loontjens (born 1974) is a philosopher and writer. In 2007 she debuted with the novel Good Luck. Her second, acclaimed novel What Time Really (2011) was nominated for the Halewijn Literature Prize. The essay collection My Life is Better than Literature was published in 2013. Loontjens teaches literary theory and literary writing at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts.

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