Issue 36.2 of Dutch Crossing published

DUTCH CROSSING : JOURNAL OF LOW COUNTRIES STUDIES
Volume 36, Number 2, July 2012

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Editorial
Ulrich Tiedau

ARTICLES

The Middle Dutch Translation of Froissart’s Chronicle (c. 1450): Historiography in the Vernacular and the Ruling Elite of Holland
Dirk Schoenaers

To Build and Sustain Trust: Long-Distance Correspondence of Dutch Seventeenth-Century Merchants
Suze Zijlstra

Early Modern Records in Dutch at the Norfolk Record Office
Christopher Joby

A Black Dutchman and the Racial Discourse of the Dutch in America, 1850-1920
Michael J. Douma

De anatomische les: Marsman’s ‘Poetics’ 1926 — with a Sidelong Glance at Coenen, Gorter, Emants, and the Movement of Tachtig
Augustinus P. Dierick
pp. 158-172

An Interruptive Gesture: J.M. Coetzee’s Landscape with Rowers (2004)
Phil van Schalkwyk

REVIEWS

Catholic Identity and the Revolt of the Netherlands, 1520−1635. By Judith Pollmann. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. 2011. ISBN: 9780199609918 (Raingard Esser)

Joost van den Vondel (1587−1679): Dutch Playwright in the Golden Age. Edited by Jan
Bloemendal and Frans-Willem Korsten. Leiden: Brill. 2012. ISBN: 9789004217539 (Christopher Joby)

ABSTRACTS

The Middle Dutch Translation of Froissart’s Chronicle (c. 1450): Historiography in the Vernacular and the Ruling Elite of Holland
Dirk Schoenaers
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00002

Gerard Potter’s Middle Dutch version of Froissart’s chronicle (c. 1450) has received little scholarly attention. For various reasons, the translation has been situated in the surroundings of the illegitimate offspring of John and Guy of Blois (Muller) or during ‘the waning of Holland’s courtly age’ (Van Oostrom). In this essay, I argue that Potter wrote for an audience of regional administrators after the incorporation of Holland in the Burgundian lands (1425‐6). These functionaries may have been interested in the text as an introduction to the continuing Anglo-French conflict or as a collection of examples of both good and bad governmental practice. For this, evidence is adduced from the provenance of the translation’s exemplar, the translator’s biography, his linguistic identity, and translation technique.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000008

To Build and Sustain Trust: Long-Distance Correspondence of Dutch Seventeenth-Century Merchants
Suze Zijlstra
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00003

The existence of trust between business partners was imperative for the functioning of Dutch early modern long-distance trade, as this was the prerequisite for the extension of credit. In this article it is shown how business correspondence was a crucial instrument for the establishment and continuance of relations of trust. Polite phrases were used to express respect for a business partner. More importantly, merchants strived to be complete in their provision of information and regular in their correspondence, thus showing their dedication and reliability. Letters were also used to exchange information about other merchants’ dependability, hereby reinforcing or weakening relations of trust. Contrary to historiographical insights, family ties turn out to be of limited significance in Dutch long-distance trade. The amount of business letters exchanged with relatives abroad is significantly lower than the number exchanged between unrelated partners. Furthermore, the content of business correspondence between kinsmen was similar to correspondence between merchants who were not related. Just like unrelated merchants, relatives had to use correspondence to sustain relations of trust. Kinship turns out not to be seen as a guarantee of trustworthiness — without which every merchant would most certainly fail as a businessman.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000009

Early Modern Records in Dutch at the Norfolk Record Office
Christopher Joby
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00004

In the early modern period, numerous people left the Low Countries for England, including many who settled in the county of Norfolk. Although over time these immigrants and their descendants gradually integrated into the local population, the Dutch language continued to be used for some time not only in oral but also in written form. Whilst many documents have been irrevocably lost, others are preserved at the Norfolk Record Office (NRO) in Norwich. This article provides an overview of these documents as well as of transcriptions and facsimiles of Dutch documents present in the NRO, the originals of which are held elsewhere. Finally, other Dutch writings produced in early modern Norfolk, such as the poetry of Jan Cruso, will be discussed, all of which provide valuable insights into the use of the Dutch language and the life of the Dutch in Norwich, and Norfolk more generally.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000010

A Black Dutchman and the Racial Discourse of the Dutch in America, 1850-1920
Michael J. Douma
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00005

Following the American Civil War, a Dutch-American immigrant soldier returned to his home in Holland, Michigan, with a freed slave whom he had adopted. The adopted child, named Siras, was then raised in a Dutch immigrant household where he learned the Dutch language and the tenets of Dutch Calvinism. Although Siras was clearly well regarded by locals, he could not escape the racial stereotypes and prejudices of the Midwest and spent his entire adult life working as a hotel porter. Siras remained the only black man among the Dutch and a challenge for what it meant to be both Dutch and American. A micro-history of Siras, rooted in primary sources, sheds light on a larger discourse of Dutch-American ethnic and national identity. Dutch American immigrants of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries generally avoided contact with blacks, expressed implicit racial superiority, and defined themselves in reference to black as an ‘other’.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000011

De anatomische les: Marsman’s ‘Poetics’ 1926 — with a Sidelong Glance at Coenen, Gorter, Emants, and the Movement of Tachtig
Augustinus P. Dierick
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00006

In 1926, Hendrik Marsman published a sequence of essays under the title De anatomische les. In these, Marsman takes the intimate relationship between an intensely lived life and art as a given, and evaluates the work of, among others, Novalis, Büchner, Trakl, and Rilke, in light of it. In an Appendix, Marsman presents what might be called his poetic programme, stressing three main topics: the relation between life and art, a definition of the work of art, and finally the effect of art (poetry) on the reader. In the case of the effect of poetry, however, Marsman shifts into a discussion of lyric poetry as a symptom of individualism; this in turn leads to an assessment of contemporary poetry, with a look back at the Tachtigers. In that movement Marsman sees a positive side to the all-pervasive individualism of modern times, leading him eventually to change his poetic practice, moving from an at times shrill ‘expressionism’ or ‘vitalism’ to a symbolist organic style, whilst continuing his defence of poetry against those who would question art’s autonomy.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000012

An Interruptive Gesture: J. M. Coetzee’s Landscape with Rowers (2004)
Phil van Schalkwyk
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/maney/dtc/2012/00000036/00000002/art00007

In Landscape with Rowers: Poetry From the Netherlands, J.M. Coetzee (2004) has collected his own translations of poetic cycles and sequences by six poets: Gerrit Achterberg, Sybren Polet, Hugo Claus, Cees Nooteboom, Hans Faverey, and Rutger Kopland. I argue that with this rather anachronistic collection of poems, all predating the 1990s and to a greater or lesser extent associated with the artistic drive during the third and part of the fourth quarter of the twentieth century toward exploring more ‘objective’ compositional methods and in several instances also the ‘hyperreal’, Coetzee has not attempted to introduce the world to a representative set of modern Dutch poems — much rather, he has utilized a very specific selection of poems from a small continental literature to produce, in Peircean terms, a higher translation or, to borrow St-Pierre’s (2007: 6) formulation in In Translation — Reflections, Refractions, Transformations, ‘a new reading, a new writing’. Drawing on, amongst others, Amit Pinchevski’s (2005) By Way of Interruption and Slavoj Zizek’s Welcome to the Desert of the Real, I show that Landscape with Rowers can be seen as a conscious and conscientious interruption tailor made for the decade(s) following the historic interruption that 9/11 constituted.

DOI: 10.1179/0309656412Z.0000000013