Nicolaas Beets, (born Sept. 13, 1814, Haarlem, Neth.--died March 13, 1903, Utrecht), Dutch pastor and writer whose Camera obscura is a classic of Dutch literature.As a student at Leiden, Beets was influenced by reading Byron and was one of the first to write Romantic poetry. His poems--Jose (1834), Kuser (1835), and Guy de Vlaming (1837)--played a part in the controversy between the Classicists and the Romantics. While still at Leiden, he also wrote the sketches, tales, and essays collected as Camera obscura (edited under the pseudonym Hildebrand, 1839; 4th definitive ed. 1854). These works..
Herman Heijermans, (born Dec. 3, 1864, Rotterdam--died Nov. 22, 1924, Zandvoort, Neth.), Dutch author and playwright, both naturalistic and didactic, who in his work attacked all aspects of bourgeois hypocrisy.After failing in business, Heijermans became a journalist in Amsterdam. His novel Kamertjeszonde (1898; "Petty Sin"), published under the pseudonym Koos Habbema, sharply criticizes prevailing sexual attitudes, and, in his play Allerzielen (1905; "All Souls"), Heijermans treats the theme of the repudiation of a "fallen" woman.He first realized the theatre's potential value..
Everhardus Johannes Potgieter, (born June 27, 1808, Zwolle, Neth.--died Feb. 3, 1875, Amsterdam), Dutch prose writer and poet who tried to set new standards and encourage national consciousness in his journal De gids ("The Guide"), which was founded in 1837, and who anticipated the literary revival of the 1880s.Potgieter was a thoroughgoing Romantic who eulogized the Holland of the 17th century. As a businessman, he was at the same time convinced that trade expansion was all-important for the rebirth of the Dutch nation. His initial optimism is evident in Jan, Jannetje en hun jongste kind..
Louis Marie Anne Couperus, (born June 10, 1863, The Hague, Neth.--died July 16, 1923, De Steeg), one of the greatest Dutch novelists of the 1880 literary revival.Couperus grew up in Batavia (now Jakarta) in the Dutch East Indies. After returning to the Netherlands, he settled in Italy. During World War I he returned to The Hague and later traveled through Africa and East Asia, describing his journeys in a series of impressionistic newspaper sketches.Couperus's novels show a rare versatility of style and genre, ranging from the French-influenced realism of his first and best-known, Eline vere..
Gerbrand Adriaenszoon Bredero, (born March 16, 1585, Amsterdam, Neth.--died Aug. 23, 1618, Amsterdam), poet and playwright who wrote folk songs, farces, and comedies treating cosmopolitan Dutch life.The conflict between Bredero's experiences of the medieval, full-blooded life of the backstreets of Amsterdam and the sophistication of the Renaissance intelligentsia was most evident in his earliest poetry, which is collected in Groot Liedt-Boeck (1622; "Great Songbook"). The humorous poems revealed the same power of observation for which some critics have praised the painters Jan..
Multatuli, pseudonym of Eduard Douwes Dekker, (born March 2, 1820, Amsterdam, Netherlands--died February 19, 1887, Nieder-Ingelheim, Germany), one of the Netherlands' greatest writers, whose radical ideas and freshness of style eclipsed the mediocre, self-satisfied Dutch literature of the mid-19th century.In 1838 Multatuli went to the Dutch East Indies, where he held a number of government posts until 1856, when he resigned because, as assistant commissioner of Lebak, Java, he was not supported by the colonial government in his attempts to protect the Javanese from their own chiefs...
Aagje Deken, byname of Agatha Deken, (born Dec. 10, 1741, Amstelveen, Neth.--died Nov. 14, 1804, The Hague), writer and collaborator with Betje Wolff (q.v.) on the first Dutch novel, De historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart, 2 vol. (1782; "The History of Miss Sara Burgerhart").Deken had written a little-known volume of devotional poetry by the time she met Betje Wolff in 1776. The next year, following the death of Wolff's husband, the two set up house together and began collaborating on fiction. With their third book, Sara Burgerhart, they changed the direction of Dutch writing. By developing..
Betje Wolff, in full Elizabeth Wolff-Bekker, (born July 24, 1738, Vlissingen, Neth.--died Nov. 5, 1804, The Hague), Dutch writer and collaborator with Aagje Deken on the first Dutch novel, De historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart, 2 vol. (1782; "The History of Miss Sara Burgerhart").Wolff, the daughter of a prosperous family, ran away with a naval officer at age 17, only to return home in a few days, deeply hurt by the experience. In 1759 she married Adriaan Wolff, a minister more than 30 years her senior.The first writing she did was classical poetry in imitation of Alexander Pope; she also..
Dirck Volckertszoon Coornhert, (born 1522, Amsterdam--died Oct. 29, 1590, Gouda, Neth.), Dutch poet, translator, playwright, and moralist who set down Humanist values for the first time in the vernacular. His clear, unpretentious prose style contrasted with that of the contemporary Rederijkers (rhetoricians) and served as a model to the great 17th-century Dutch writers. His book of songs Liedekens (1575) shows his determination to choose a form for the content and not vice versa.Coornhert settled in Haarlem as an engraver on copper. Holding positions in the city's government, he threw..
Pieter Corneliszoon Hooft, (born March 16, 1581, Amsterdam, Netherlands--died May 21, 1647, The Hague), Dutch dramatist and poet, regarded by many as the most brilliant representative of Dutch Renaissance literature. Hooft's prose style continued to provide a model into the 19th century.During three years spent in France and Italy, Hooft came completely under the spell of the new learning and art; the impact of that experience is shown by the contrast between his letter in pre-Renaissance verse sent from Florence to his friends in Amsterdam and the first poetry he wrote after his return:..
Cees Nooteboom, in full Cornelis Johannes Jacobus Maria Nooteboom, (born July 31, 1933, The Hague, Netherlands), Dutch writer known for his novels and travel writing.Nooteboom was educated at an Augustinian monastery school at Eindhoven, Netherlands. He wrote his first novel, Philip en de anderen (Philip and the Others), in 1955. Then, working as a travel columnist for the Dutch periodicals Avenue and Elsevier, Nooteboom published a number of collections of travel essays, including Een nacht in Tunesie (1965; "A Night in Tunisia"), Een avond in Isfahan: reisverhalen uit Perzie, Gambia,..
Jacob Cats, Jacob also spelled Jacobus, (born November 10, 1577, Brouwershaven, Zeeland, Spanish Netherlands [now in the Netherlands]--died September 12, 1660, Zorgvliet, near The Hague), Dutch writer of emblem books and didactic verse whose place in the affections of his countrymen is shown by his nickname, "Father Cats."Cats took his doctor's degree in law at Orleans, practiced at The Hague, and, after visits to Oxford and Cambridge, settled in Zeeland, where he accumulated wealth by land reclamation. Becoming a magistrate, he was successively pensionary of Middelburg and Dordrecht..
Israel Querido, (born Oct. 1, 1872, Amsterdam, Neth.--died Aug. 5, 1932, Amsterdam), Dutch novelist of the naturalist movement.After being employed as a diamond worker, Querido decided to live in close contact with the working classes. By minutely observing them, he was able to reproduce exactly their way of life and their speech style in, for example, De Jordaan (1914), a long epic in four parts. Socialist elements are evident in his treatment of the human condition in such novels as Menschenwee (1903; Toil of Men), a detailed description of the miseries he witnessed among the people of Beverwijk,..
Lodewijk van Deyssel, pseudonym of Karel Joan Lodewijk Alberdingk Thijm, (born Sept. 22, 1864, Amsterdam, Neth.--died Jan. 26, 1952, Haarlem), leading Dutch writer and critic of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.The son of J.A. Alberdingk Thijm (who promoted a Roman Catholic cultural revival in the Netherlands), he joined the largely agnostic individualistic group associated with the avant-garde literary magazine De Nieuwe Gids ("The New Guide"). His passionate critical writings were published as Verzamelde opstellen, 11 vol. (1894-1911; "Collected Essays"). He began writing..
Aernout Drost, (born March 15, 1810, Amsterdam, Kingdom of Holland [now in the Netherlands]--died Nov. 5, 1834, Amsterdam), Dutch writer whose historical novels were the first important works of the 19th-century Romantic movement in the Netherlands. His passion for history influenced many of his contemporaries and successors.Drost's first novel, Hermingard van de Eikenterpen (1832; "Hermingard of the Oak Burial Mounds"), portraying the conversion of a Germanic woman to Christianity in 4th-century Holland, gave him scope for the development of his Romantic ideals and religious concepts...
Maria Dermout, in full Helena Anthonia Maria Elisabeth Dermout-Ingerman, (born June 15, 1888, Pekalongan, Java, Dutch East Indies [now in Indonesia]--died June 27, 1962, Noordwijk, Neth.), Dutch novelist and short-story writer known for her subtle and evocative portraits of colonial life in the Dutch East Indies.Dermout, who was the descendant of employees of the Dutch East Indies Company, spent her childhood on a sugar plantation in central Java. She attended school in the Netherlands but returned to the islands as a young wife and remained there most of her life.Her work was not published..
Willem Frederik Hermans, (born Sept. 1, 1921, Amsterdam, Neth.--died April 27, 1995), Dutch satirical novelist who vehemently attacked the ills and hypocrisies of society.Hermans' early novels and stories are overcast with dark, disillusioned tones. De tranen der acacia's (1949; "The Tears of the Acacias"), which features a feckless fighter, satirizes the Dutch Resistance to Nazi occupation during World War II. He returned to the war as a theme for his noted short novel "Het behouden huis" (1952; "The House of Refuge") and the novel De donkere kamer van Damocles (1958; The Dark Room of Damocles);..
Jo van Ammers-Kuller, in full Johanna Van Ammers-kuller, (born Aug. 13, 1884, Noordeloos, Neth.--died Jan. 23, 1966, Bakel), Dutch writer best known for her historical novels.Van Ammers-Kuller began her writing career as a playwright. Her first successful novels, Het huis der vreugden (1922; The House of Joy) and Jenny Huysten (1923; Jenny Huysten's Career), deal with life in and around the theatre and draw on her experiences as a dramatist in London from 1912 to 1921. Her most successful novel, De opstandigen (1925; The Rebel Generation), presents the struggle of three generations of women..
Willem Kloos, (born May 6, 1859, Amsterdam, Neth.--died March 31, 1938, The Hague), Dutch poet and critic who was the driving intellectual force of the 1880 Dutch literary revival and the cofounder and mainstay of its periodical, De nieuwe gids ("The New Guide"). A ruthless critic of the rhetorical, passionless nature of traditional Dutch writing, Kloos continually championed the idea of beauty as the highest value in art and life.In 1882 he published the poetry of his friend Jacques Perk, who had died prematurely. Kloos's inspired introduction, containing the maxim "poetry alone makes life..
Gerard Reve, in full Gerard Kornelis van het Reve, (born Dec. 14, 1923, Amsterdam, Neth.--died April 8, 2006, Zulte, Belg.), Dutch writer noted for his virtuoso style and sardonic humour. His subject matter was occasionally controversial, treating such topics as homosexuality and sadism.Although Reve invented a fanciful background for himself as the Dutch-born child of Baltic-Russian refugees, he was in fact the son of a Dutch journalist. From 1945 to 1947 Reve attended the Amsterdam school of graphic arts, after which he worked as a reporter for Het Parool, a national daily newspaper.Reve's..
Hella S. Haasse, in full Helene Serafia Van Lelyveld-Haasse, (born February 2, 1918, Batavia, Dutch East Indies [now Jakarta, Indonesia]--died September 29, 2011, Amsterdam, Netherlands), Dutch novelist noted for her innovative historical fiction.Haasse studied at the Amsterdam Toneelschool, a dramatic arts school, and published a volume of poetry, Stroomversnelling (1945; "Fast Current"). In her first novella, Oeroeg (1948), she explored race relations in the Dutch East Indies; she later returned to that setting in the novels Heren van de thee (1992; The Tea Lords) and Sleuteloog..
Harry Mulisch, in full Harry Kurt Victor Mulisch, (born July 29, 1927, Haarlem, Neth.--died Oct. 30, 2010, Amsterdam), prolific Dutch author known chiefly for his clear, economical prose.Mulisch's maternal grandmother and great-grandmother died in German concentration camps, whereas his father was an official of a bank under German control; after World War II Mulisch's father was sent to prison as a collaborator. These early experiences equipped Mulisch to write about divided loyalties.Mulisch began writing when the war interrupted his studies. His first novel, Archibald Strohalm..