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Document Details :
Title: Infame scribbelaars, vuile boeken
Subtitle: Eer en schande van Nederladse romans en hun schrijvers in de achttiende eeuw
Author(s): ALTENA, Peter
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 46 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2004
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the history of the eighteenth century Dutch novel was successfully reduced to one novel. This novel, Historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart (1782) published by two female writers, Betje Wolff and Aagje Deken, was considered to be the first, the best and the only novel of the period. In recent years efforts to challenge this reduction have been made in bibliographies and re-editions of other Dutch novels, but it hardly affected the persistent reduction of the history to this one novel. This was possibly due to the absence of a modern ‘history of the Dutch novel’, which could have given a background to all the bibliographical discoveries and the revaluations of individual novels. It is argued in this essay that the disgraceful subjects of the early eighteenth-century novels depicting everyday life had a great effect on the reputation of the novelists and the other way round. The ‘infamous’ reputation of novel and novelist contributed to the banning of both from the realm of fine literature.