Boekenvrienden: Bemiddelende kritiek in Nederlandse publiekstijdschriften in het interbellum

Keltjens, R., 2018, [Groningen]: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. 311 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Ryanne Keltjens
Book Friends focuses on three men on a mission: Gerard van Eckeren, Roel Houwink and Anthonie Donker wanted to introduce as many people as possible to ‘good’ books. They were well-known cultural entrepreneurs in the Netherlands of the interwar period, who performed different roles (critic, publisher, editor, lecturer, radio speaker) and used divergent media (newspapers, periodicals, radio, lectures) to inform the general audience about literature. In this dissertation such ‘intermediating’ forms of literary criticism are analyzed, focusing in particular on periodicals such as Den Gulden Winckel, Elsevier’s Geïllustreerd Maandschrift en Critisch Bulletin.

Although ‘intermediating’ forms of criticism should be considered part of an older cultural mediation tradition, the phenomenon got a new impulse and an entirely different nature in the interwar period. These cultural entrepreneurs responded to modern developments in media, advertising and technology and experimented with new forms and genres. Furthermore, they profited from the new economic possibilities of a literary market which expanded rapidly.

Book Friends shows that the three critics worked from a shared set of ideals of cultural elevation: they believed in the power of literature for the individual reader and for the community as a whole. Literary criticism was supposed to contribute to the cultural education of the general audience. At the basis of their shared ideals however laid divergent social and religious backgrounds. Also, the ways in which they put their idealistic aims into practice differed. ‘Intermediating’ criticism can thus be considered a colorful phenomenon in the literary culture of the interwar years.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • van Boven, Erica, Supervisor, External person
  • Sanders, Mathijs, Supervisor
  • Dorleijn, Gillis, Assessment committee
  • Grüttemeier, R., Assessment committee, External person
  • Joosten, J, Assessment committee, External person
  • Smit, C, Assessment committee, External person
Award date4-Oct-2018
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-028-1103-2
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-0900-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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