Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1876-9071
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5729


The following article focuses upon the image of seventeenth-century Dutch literature sketched by Johan Huizinga in his Holländische Kultur des siebzehnten Jahrhunderts (1933) and Nederland’s beschaving in de zeventiende eeuw (1941). The German version is based upon three lectures given by Huizinga in Cologne in 1932 and stresses the peculiarity of seventeenth-century Dutch culture. Despair of civilisation and the intention to stimulate his readers’ national pride determine the way in which he composes and presents ‘his’ literary canon in the 1941 Dutch version. This canon contains the familiar names: Vondel, Hooft, Huygens, Cats and Bredero. But nevertheless, Huizinga has his special manner to depict the poets and their works. On the one hand he emphasizes the differences between them, and on the other hand he shows how they complement one another. Altogether, they represent ‘eenheid in verscheidenheid’ (unity in diversity). To illustrate his view of seventeenth-century Dutch poets as a circle of friends, Huizinga uses the 19th-century myth of the Muiderkring, the circle of poets which P.C. Hooft was said to have gathered around him. Huizinga’s historiography aims at identification. Its intention is not only to impart knowledge, but also to convey experience. To achieve this, it visualizes the canon of seventeenth-century Dutch literature by painting a gallery of poets’ portraits.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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