Doing Double Dutch

The International Circulation of Literature from the Low Countries

Edited by Elke Brems, Orsolya Réthelyi, and Ton Van Kalmthout

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The importance of a minor language in the field of world literature. Dutch literature is increasingly understood as a network of texts and poetics connected to other languages and literatures through translations and adaptations. In this book, a team of international researchers explores how Dutch literary texts cross linguistic, historical, geophysical, political, religious, and disciplinary borders, and reflects on a wide range of methods for studying these myriad border crossings. As a result, this volume provides insight into the international dissemination of Dutch literature and the position of a smaller, less-translated language within the field of world literature.
The title Doing Double Dutch evokes a popular rope-skipping game in which two people turn two long jump ropes in opposite directions while a third person jumps them. A fitting metaphor for how literature circulates internationally: two dynamic spheres, the source culture and the target culture, engage one another in a complex pattern of movement resulting in a new literary work, translation, or adaptation formed somewhere in the middle.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

Contributors: Chiara Beltrami Gottmer (American International School of Rotterdam), Peter Boot (Huygens ING), Pieter Boulogne (KU Leuven), Elke Brems (KU Leuven), Michel De Dobbeleer (University of Ghent), Caroline de Westenholz (Louis Couperus Museum), Gillis Dorleijn (University of Groningen), Wilken Engelbrecht (Palacký University Olomouc), Veerle Fraeters (University of Antwerp), Maud Gonne (KU Leuven), Christine Hermann (University of Vienna), Peter Kegel (Huygens ING), Tessa Lobbes (Utrecht University), Marijke Meijer Drees (University of Groningen), Reine Meylaerts (KU Leuven), Marco Prandoni (University of Bologna), Marion Prinse (Utrecht University), Orsolya Réthelyi (Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, Huygens ING), Diana Sanz Roig (Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Rita Schlusemann (Utrecht University), Matthieu Sergier (Université Saint Louis Brussels), Natalia Stachura (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan), Janek Urbaniak (University of Wroclaw), Stéphanie Vanasten (UCL Louvain-la-Neuve), Ton van Kalmthout (Huygens ING), Suzanne van Putten-Brons, Herbert Van Uffelen (University of Vienna), Marc van Zoggel (Huygens ING), Nico Wilterdink (University of Amsterdam).


Chapter 1
Dutch on the Move: Studying the Circulation of Smaller Literatures
Elke Brems, Orsolya Réthelyi & Ton van Kalmthout

Chapter 2
Studying the Circulation of Dutch Literature: Some Considerations
Gillis Dorleijn

Chapter 3
Breaching the Dyke: The International Reception of Contemporary
Dutch Translated Literature
Nico Wilterdink

Chapter 4
Cultural Mediators in Cultural History: What Do we Learn from
Studying Mediators’ Complex Transfer Activities in Interwar Belgium?
Reine Meylaerts, Maud Gonne, Tessa Lobbes & Diana Sanz Roig

Chapter 5
Is it Only the Original which Unfolds Anew in the Reception?
Herbert Van Uffelen


Chapter 6
From Medieval Dutch Writer to French Film Character: The Presence of Hadewijch in France from the Perspective of the Film Hadewijch (2009)
Veerle Fraeters

Chapter 7
Elckerlijc, Everyman, Jedermann and Akárki in Hungary: Max Reinhardt and the Transfer of Medieval Dutch Literature
Orsolya Réthelyi
Chapter 8
The Splendour of Vondel’s Lucifer: Canonicity and Cultural Memory
Chiara Beltrami Gottmer, Marijke Meijer Drees, Marco Prandoni & Rita Schlusemann
Chapter 9
Vondel’s Lucifer Translating the Text, Translating the Culture
Natalia Stachura
Chapter 10
What Do we Learn from the Characters of the Novel Sara Burgerhart?
On the Transfer of Culture and Ideology in the Image of Fiction Characters at the End of the Eighteenth Century
Jan Urbaniak
Chapter 11
The Flemish Lion: Oscillating between Past and Present: Ideology in German-Language Adaptations of Conscience’s De Leeuw van Vlaenderen for Young Readers
Christine Hermann
Chapter 12
The reception of Louis Couperus’ De stille kracht in the English-Speaking world (1921-2015)
Caroline de Westenholz
Chapter 13
A Communist Compromise: Introducing Willem Elsschot’s Kaas Soviet Style
Michel De Dobbeleer
Chapter 14
The Case of Kaas: The Reception of Elsschot’s Work in the Czech Language
Wilken Engelbrecht
Chapter 15
‘BaBié, zivoublé!’ Ideology and Cultural Transfer: De donkere kamer van Damokles
Peter Kegel, Marion Prinse, Matthieu Sergier & Marc van Zoggel
Chapter 16
‘Unexpectedly Moving’? An Inquiry into the Intermedial and International Trajectory of a Flemish Novel
Elke Brems, Pieter Boulogne & Stéphanie Vanasten
Chapter 17
June is Dutch Literature Month! Online Book Reviewers and their Role in the Transmission of Dutch Literature
to the English-speaking World
Suzanne van Putten-Brons & Peter Boot


Format: Edited volume - hardback

Size: 240 × 160 × 25 mm

336 pages

3 figures, 3 tables, 23 b&w illustrations

ISBN: 9789462700970

Publication: March 27, 2017

Languages: English

Stock item number: 116178

Elke Brems is hoogleraar vertaalwetenschap en Nederlandse taal & cultuur aan de KU Leuven.
Orsolya Réthelyi is associate professor of Dutch Literature at the Eötvös Loránd University Budapest and researcher in literary history at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands.
Ton van Kalmthout is senior researcher in literary history at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, a research institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
All in all, the feast offered here is great. Chapters 6 to 17 are fascinating case studies that examine aspects of these transfer ventures from Hadewijch and the Elckerlijc to Willem Elsschot and Willem Frederik Hermans. [...] The case studies are preceded by a helpful introductory chapter and four chapters on various questions of methodology. The latter deal with issues like the translator as a (hopefully faithful) mediator, the distribution and reception of these translations across the globe, and the inevitable losses incurred as a result of the trans-lingual operation. Chapter 5 contains a brilliant discussion of possible
gains when a Dutch original is transferred into another language by creative translators. [...] it is a fine volume and is warmly recommended for lovers of Dutch, lay people and specialists alike.

Doing Double Dutch offers eleven interesting and illuminating case studies of specific texts, ranging from medieval to contemporary. [...] that raise interesting questions and stimulate a desire for reflection either on the relationship between the Dutch texts and their versions, or on the appropriate object of research for literary scholars.
Jane Fenoulhet, Spiegel der Letteren 61 (1),

Doing Double Dutch laat overtuigend zien hoeveel nieuwe onderzoeksresulta­ten kunnen warden geboekt op basis van nauwe samenwerking tussen vakgenoten in een goed georganiseerd internationaal netwerk. Het is een inspirerend boek, dat hopelijk verder onderzoek zal uitlokken. [...] Nu ligt er een boek dat aantoont hoe vitaal de neerlandistiek anno 2018 is, ook en wellicht zelfs vooral in het buitenland.
Mathijs Sanders, Internationale Neerlandistiek, Vol. 57, No. 1, 2019