Author: Jacob Boas
In Cultural Criticism in the Netherlands, 1933-40, Jacob Boas offers a broad selection of the newspaper columns of legendary Dutch cultural critic Menno ter Braak. Ter Braak’s columns are noteworthy not only for their distinctive treatment of disparate cultural components ranging from literature to the social sciences, but also for the light they throw on the extent to which politics intruded on the cultural sphere in the years prior to the outbreak of war.
Ter Braak set a standard for literary criticism of surpassing quality. Moreover, a staunch advocate of democracy, the critic joined the battle against fascism, urging fellow intellectuals to rise to the occasion. The ‘conscience of Dutch letters’ killed himself on the eve of the German occupation, May 1940.