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Narratives of Low Countries History and Culture

Reframing the Past

This edited collection explores the ways in which our understanding of the past in Dutch history and culture can be rethought to consider not only how it forms part of the present but how it can relate also to the future. Divided into three parts – The Uses of Myth and History, The Past as Illumination of Cultural Context, and Historiography in Focus – this book seeks to demonstrate the importance of the past by investigating the transmission of culture and its transformations. It reflects on the history of historiography and looks critically at the products of the historiographic process, such as Dutch and Afrikaans literary history. The chapters cover a range of disciplines and approaches: some authors offer a broad view of a particular period, such as Jonathan Israel’s contribution on myth and history in the ideological politics of the Dutch Golden Age, while others zoom in on specific genres, texts or historical moments, such as Benjamin Schmidt’s study of the doolhof, a word that today means ‘labyrinth’ but once described a 17th-century educational amusement park. This volume, enlightening and home to multiple paths of enquiry leading in different directions, is an excellent example of what a past-present doolhof might look like.

250 pages | 6 1/5 x 9 1/4

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Table of Contents

"Part I: The uses of myth and history
1. The uses of myth and history in the ideological politics of the
Dutch Golden Age
Jonathan I. Israel

2 The past in a foreign country: Patriotic history and New World
geography in the Dutch Republic, c. 1600–1648
Benjamin Schmidt

3. A noble courtier and a gentleman warrior: Some aspects of the
creation of the Spinola image
Bart De Groof

4. The cult of the seventeenth-century Dutch naval heroes:
Critical appropriation of a popular patriotic tradition
Cynthia Lawrence

5. Patriotism in Dutch literature (c. 1650–c. 1750)
Marijke Meijer Drees

6. Groen van Prinsterer’s interpretation of the French
Revolution and the rise of ‘pillars’ in Dutch society
Harry Van Dyke

7. Memories and identities in conflict: The myth concerning
the battle of Courtrai (1302) in nineteenth-century Belgium
Gevert H. Nörtemann

8. The concept of nationality in nineteenth-century Flemish
theatre discourse: Some preliminary remarks
Frank Peeters

Part II: The past as illumination of cultural context
9. Sinte Lorts bewaer u. Sinte Lorts gespaer u! Paradox as the
key to a ‘new morality’ in a late medieval text
Anna Jane Harris

10. The Bible in modern Dutch fiction
Jaap Goedegebuure

11. The antiquity of the Dutch language: Renaissance theories
on the language of Paradise
Henri A. Krop

12. Maarten van Heemskerck’s use of literary sources from
antiquity for his Wonders of the World series of 1572
Ron Spronk

13. The legacy of Hegel’s and Jean Paul’s aesthetics: The idyllic
in seventeenth-century Dutch genre painting
Christiane Hertel


Part III: Historiography in focus
14. The rhetoric of narrative historiography
Anne Marie Musschoot

15. The disciplinization of historiography in nineteenth-century
Friesland and the simultaneous radicalization of nationalist
discourse. Source: De Friesche Volksalmanak (1836–1899)
Liesbeth Brouwer

16. The unimportance of writing well: Eighteenth-century
Belgian historians on the problem of style of history
Tom Verschaffel

17. The apostle of a wooden Christ: P. N. van Eyck and the
journal Leiding
Frans Ruiter

18. Menno Ter Braak in Dutch literature: Object and subject of
image-building
Nel Van Dijk

19. The reviled and the revered: Preliminary notes on the
reappraisal of canonized literary texts
Godfrey Meintjes
20. Postmodern Dutch literature: Renewal or tradition?
Marcel Janssens"

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