Exciting New Translations of Dutch and Flemish Classics

avonden

2016 has proven to be a bumper year for translation from Dutch in the series of exciting new works becoming available to an Anglophone audience for the first time shows no signs of slowing down. Sam Garrett’s translation of Gerard Reve’s De Avonden (1947) has been in the top 10 of The Guardian’s bookshop bestsellers over the past few weeks and been the subject of discussion on Radio 4’s Today Program. The high impact of this long-neglected Dutch classic suggests that the British public’s growing appetite for Dutch prose (most marked in the reception of Herman Koch’s The Dinner, another Sam Garrett translation) may be here to stay.

ostaijenNo less exciting is a publication in English of Paul van Ostaijen’s Bezette Stad (1921), translated by David Colmer. Ostaijen’s exquisite collection of poetry, based in part on the German occupation of Antwerp, is one of the most important works of the Dadaist movement in Belgium and an anti-war love story to the modern European city.

A page from Modern Poetry in Translation gives the flavour of the text, which uses fragments of language and innovative typesetting to convey meaning and emotion: http://www.mptmagazine.com/poem/poems-from-occupied-city-702/.

bezette-stad

 

 

Sam Garrett will appear at the Tabernacle Notting Hill to discuss his translation of The Evenings on Tuesday, 17 January 2017 as part of the High Impact event: http://eurolitnetwork.com/high-impact-literature-from-the-low-countries/

Here is the link to a review of The Evenings in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/22/gerard-reve-evenings-first-english-translation

 

Occupied City is published by Smokestack Books: http://smokestack-books.co.uk/book.php?book=123. The Evenings is published by Pushkin Press: http://www.pushkinpress.com/book/the-evenings/

 

Seminars on Low Countries History, 2016-17

The 2016-17 programme of the Low Countries History Seminar Series is now available. Everybody with an interest in Low Countries History is welcome.

The series conveners are: Anne Goldgar (King’s College London), Ben Kaplan (UCL), Ulrich Tiedau (UCL), Joanna Woodall (Courtauld)

Meetings: Fridays at 5:15 pm at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. All meetings except 4th November and possibly 18th November in Wolfson Room I, in the basement.

Autumn

21 October Bruno Blondé (Antwerp), ‘The straw mattresses of a love triangle: Economic growth, social inequality and early modern consumer changes in the eighteenth-century Low Countries’

4 November Stijn van Rossem (London), ‘Editorial Strategies in the early-modern
Room N304 period: the Verdussen case (Antwerp, 1590-1690)’

18 November David Freeman (Kansas City), ‘A Silver River in a Silver World: Dutch
Room tbc merchants in the South Atlantic, 1640s-1740s’ – joint session with the Economic and Social History of the Early Modern World seminar

2 December Nina Lamal (St Andrews), ‘The Low Countries in the news: Italian information networks on the Dutch Revolt’

Low Countries Studies Seminar Schedule 2016-17

11th Biennial Conference 2016

The 11th ALCS Biennial Conference took place from 29 June-1 July 2016 at University College Dublin. The conference organisers, under the inspiring leadership of dr. John Loughman (UCD), could not have picked a more topical theme: Narrating Change, Changing Narratives acquired that special ring only a week after the EU referendum.

dr John Loughman (UCD) host of the 11th ALCS Conference
Dr John Loughman (UCD), host of the 11th ALCS Conference

This 11th edition was our most ‘international’ conference to date, attracting speakers from a dozen countries spread over four continents: Ireland, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, Netherlands, South-Africa, South-Korea, United States, and United Kingdom.

During three days in Dublin, around forty delegates explored how change is represented and narrated in a Low Countries or comparative context and along and across broad cultural, linguistic and historical lines. The 24 papers and three keynote addresses took the conference theme in many directions:

• narrating the postcolonial and the multicultural;
• narrating meaning in early modern art,
• narrating gender and nationalism,
• narrating society and humanity,
• narrating space and race;
• changing narratives in language and linguistics

Our keynote speakers were:

  • Pamela Pattynama of the University of Amsterdam who is an expert in changing colonial narratives. Her book on the representation of Indonesia and Dutch colonial rule, Bitterzoet Indië, was the starting point of her paper.
  • Adriaan Waiboer, Curator of Northern European Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. Dr Waiboer discussed his current project: ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’ to be shown at the National Gallery of Ireland and in Paris and Washington in 2017-18.
  • David van der Linden, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, who introduced, discussed and reflected on the “Signed, Sealed & Undelivered” project, exploring the letters of the Brienne trunk.

logo taalunieFull conference programme
Selected papers will be included in an edited book in the Low Countries Series of UCLPress or in the ALCS Journal: Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies

This event was kindly sponsored by the Nederlandse Taalunie

Winners of ALCS Essay Prize 2016

Our ALCS reader panel is usually enthusiastic about the undergraduate and postgraduate entries for our annual ALCS Essay Prize, but this year they cracked: instead of one, they awarded two undergraduate prizes, one for a literary paper and one for a linguistic one.

This is a first in the history of our Essay Prize and we are therefore proud to not only announce the winners, but also to publish their work on our website.

Together with the excellent postgraduate paper by Kasper Swerts, the essay prize 2016 is a testimony to the strength and the breadth of Dutch Studies: history, politics, philosophy, literature, linguistics, it is all there.

Thank you to all entrants for their essays and a special thanks for our panel of readers for their hard work and expert verdict!

SchaefferUndergraduate Winner: Mathias Schäffer (Sheffield), ‘The presence of the absent mother in Gerbrand Bakker’s Perenbomen bloeien wit

Jury’s comments:
‘A very interesting topic and a good amount of research has gone into the essay. It is a well-structured, very readable essay that takes account of the reader and provides enough information in order for the reader to understand the issues fully.’

Postgraduate Winner: Kasper Swerts (PhD Edinburgh),
‘A Flemish Nozdormu? Teleology and Philosophy of history in the writings of Hendrik Jozef Elias’

Jury’s comments:
‘Swerts argues convincingly that in his political choices the Flemish politician and nationalist historian Hendrik Elias was guided – or misguided – by his highly particular philosophy of history. A sophisticated essay and an excellent read.’

Kasper Swerts has been invited to submit his essay for publication in Dutch Crossing.

BobbyjonesUndergraduate Runner Up: Robert Jones (Sheffield), ‘Tweetalig onderwijs: Effective education or pointless pedagogy?’

Jury’s comments:
‘This is a well researched essay with a clear academic approach to the topic. Interesting issues are discussed in a clear and balanced way. Excellent use of background literature.’

comm-ardmore-house-exterior-medium

11th Biennial Conference 2016

Low Countries: Narrating Change, Changing Narratives
University College Dublin
29 June – 1 July 2016
Provisional Programme 2016 available
Registration is now open for all speakers and participants. You will find the required details on registration, payment and accommodation in our Conference System.

Narration and story telling emerges as a new turn in academic discourse. Scholars increasingly question their position as observers or spectators and move towards a more engaged position. Ownership of the narrative is a central focus and concern.

For the 11th ALCS Biennial Conference in 2016 – the centenary year of the Easter Rising in Ireland – we want raise questions around the narrative of change. How is change represented and narrated and how do these narratives change over time? All this in a Low Countries or comparative context and along and across broad cultural, linguistic and historical lines.

Topics may include:
• Narrating change of cultural practices and dissenting voices
• Narration of social change and the imaginative
• Narrating change and changing narrative in literature and the arts
• Changing relationships between text and image in the pictorial arts
• Changing linguistic norms and status of language varieties
• Translation as a process of change and transformation
• Narrating change emerging from studies of lexis, semantics, pragmatics and syntax

We invite both individual contributions (20-minute presentations which will be followed by 10 minutes of discussion) and proposals for fully constituted panels. Panel conveners are invited to suggest a 90-minutes themed panel of three speakers. We specifically invite postgraduate students and a number of full bursaries are available. The primary criterion for selection will be the quality of the proposal, not its strict connection to the conference theme.

Our keynote speakers are:

  • Pamela Pattynama of the University of Amsterdam who is an expert in changing colonial narratives. Her book on the representation of Indonesia and Dutch colonial rule, Bitterzoet Indië, will be the starting point of her paper.
  • Adriaan Waiboer, Curator of Northern European Art at the National Gallery of Ireland. He will talk about his current project: ‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’ to be shown at the National Gallery of Ireland and in Paris and Washington in 2017-18.
  • David van der Linden, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen,who will introduce, discusss and reflect on the “Signed, Sealed & Undelivered” project, exploring the letters of the Brienne trunk.

Please submit your proposal in the form of a 300-word abstract by 15 March 2016 to our Conference System.

Selected papers will be published in the ALCS Journal: Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies