‘Foar ús tiden net mear te brûken': De beoardieling fan njoggentjinde-ieuske Fryske literatuer foar it folk yn 1950

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As part of a 1950s Frisian literary magazine collections’ catalogisation project, performed by the Frisian Academy and the Frisian Provincial Library, hundreds of evaluative comments to nineteenth century Frisian literary works have survived and have been digitalised. The catalogue indexing routine consisted of mentioning, on small indexing cards, the work’s specifics, and adding a short description of the subject and a quality statement. This routine resulted in a wide array of subjective commentaries. Although the purpose of the comments is unclear and although their source is anonimous, they are valuable for reader reception research, particularly against the background of cultural nationalist normativity (canonisation) in 1950s Friesland. A classification and analysis of a subset of the commentaries shows a historicising bias against nineteenth century realist works, which were undervalued, as folklore but not high art, because of their realism. More-over, most evaluating comments reflected non-literary criteria, particularly the comment ‘not useful for our times’ was highly frequent, i.e. the relevance of the specific work for future Frisian cultural politics.
Keywords: canonisation of Frisian literature, cultural nationalism, Harmen Sytstra, Waling Dykstra Fryske Akademy
Original languageDutch
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jan 2019

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