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Marijke Spies


The French poets of the 15th and 16th centuries (the 'rhétoriqueurs') attached importance to 'poetrie' in the sense of fiction- primarily mythological fiction. This view was adopted by rhetoricians in the South Netherlands (De Castelein), where early Renaissance poets subsequently invested mythological 'poetrie' with a neo-platonic theory of inspiration (De Heere). There was however some resistance to this kind of 'poetic' rendering in the North Netherlands, as well as to the allegorical interpretation directly linked with it (Coornhert). There was a twofold reason for this: the Reformatory rejection of allegorical bible interpretation, and the general humanist respect for the literal meaning of texts. Consequently, a different kind of poetry emerged which was more rhetorically argumentative than artistically fictional. Only later Van Mander was to introduce firmly the neo-platonic interpretation of myths, about which he entered into discussion with H. L. Spiegel, a friend of Coornhert's and a leading light in De Eglentier, the Amsterdam chamber of rhetoric.

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Mieke B. Smits-Veldt and Marijke Spies

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Edited by Toon Van Houdt, Jan de Jong, Zoran Kwak, Marijke Spies and Marc van Vaeck

In the early modern period, deceit and fraud were common issues. Acutely aware of the ubiquity and multiplicity of simulation and dissimulation, people from this period made serious efforts to gain a better understanding of the phenomenon, trying to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable, pleasant and unpleasant, wicked and virtuous forms of deceit, and seeking to unravel its principles, strategies, and functions. The twelve case-studies in this volume focus on the use of deceit by several groups of people in different spheres of life, as well as on its representation in literary and artistic genres, and its conceptualization in philosophical and rhetorical discourses. The studies testify to the rich variety of deceitful strategies applied by people from the early modern period, as well as to the subtlety and diversity of the conceptual frameworks they construed in order to grasp the many aspects of the elusive yet all-pervasive phenomenon of deceit.

Contributors include: Daniel Acke, Jacques Bos, Wiep van Bunge, Evelien Chayes, Paul J.C.M. Franssen, Paul van Heck, Toon van Houdt, Alfons K.L. Thijs, Bert Timmermans, Johannes Trapman, Mark van Vaeck, Natascha Veldhorst, and Johan Verberckmoes.