Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) was the most prolific poet and playwright of his age. During his long life, roughly coinciding with the Dutch Golden Age, he wrote over thirty tragedies. He was a famous figure in political and artistic circles of Amsterdam, a contemporary and acquaintance of Grotius and Rembrandt, and in general well acquainted with Latin humanists, Dutch scholars, authors and Amsterdam burgomasters. He fuelled literary, religious and political debates. His tragedy 'Gysbreght van Aemstel', which was played on the occasion of the opening of the stone city theatre in 1638, was to become the most famous play in Dutch history, and can probably boast holding the record for the longest tradition of annual performance in Europe. In general, Vondel’s texts are literary works in the full sense of the word, complex and inexhaustive; attracting attention throughout the centuries.
Contributors include: Eddy Grootes, Riet Schenkeveld-van der Dussen, Mieke B. Smits-Veldt, Marijke Spies, Judith Pollmann, Bettina Noak, Louis Peter Grijp, Guillaume van Gemert, Jürgen Pieters, Nina Geerdink, Madeleine Kasten, Marco Prandoni, Peter Eversmann, Mieke Bal, Maaike Bleeker, Bennett Carpenter, James A. Parente, Jr., Stefan van der Lecq, Jan Frans van Dijkhuizen, Helmer Helmers, Kristine Steenbergh, Yasco Horsman, Jeanne Gaakeer, and Wiep van Bunge.
Jan Bloemendal, Ph.D. (1997) in Neo-Latin Literature, Utrecht University, is senior researcher at the Huygens Institute for Dutch History of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and professor by special appointment of Neo-Latin Studies at the University of Amsterdam.
Frans-Willem Korsten, Ph.D. (1998) in Cultural Analysis, Amsterdam University, is professor by special appointment of Literature and Society at the Erasmus School for History Culture and Communication, and works at the Leiden University Institute for Cultural Disciplines (department of Film and Literary Studies).
“[This book] serves a dual purpose. It is the first comprehensive discussion of Vondel’s drama in English, and it offers a sampling of both more traditional and novel approaches. […] It brings Vondel’s large theatrical output to the attention of Anglophone readers, but does much more than that: by letting the light of theory shine on these plays, the book demonstrates just how rich, fresh, and valuable a writer Vondel remains.”
Theo Hermans, University College London. In:
Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 66, No. 1 (Spring 2013), pp. 345-347.
“this volume manages to present Vondel’s dramatic
oeuvre in all its breadth for an international audience. It is a work of reference on the one hand and a research laboratory and forum for debate on the other. To its credit, this volume features the whole spectrum of past and present research on Vondel’s plays and integrates representatives of different methodological and theoretical provenance.”
Maria-Theresia Leuker, University of Cologne. In:
Journal of Dutch Literature, Vol. 4, No. 2 (December 2013), pp. 92-102.
Vondel’s Dramas: A Chronological Survey
Eddy Grootes and Riet Schenkeveld-van der Dussen
Vondel’s Works for the Stage Read and Studied Over the Centuries
Riet Schenkeveld-van der Dussen
Vondel’s Dramas: Ways of Relating Present and Past
Part I – Vondel’s Life, Works and Times
Mieke B. Smits-Veldt and Marijke Spies
Vondel and Amsterdam
Vondel as a Dramatist: The Representation of Language and Body
Vondel’s Theatre and Music
Louis Peter Grijp and Jan Bloemendal
Vondel’s Dramas: Their Afterlife in Performance
Mieke B. Smits-Veldt
Vondel’s Reception Abroad
Guillaume van Gemert
Part II – Approaches and Dramas
New Historicism – Hierusalem verwoest (1620) and the Jewish Question
Politics and Aesthetics – Decoding Allegory in Palamedes (1625)
Close Reading and Theory – The David Plays (1660)
Psychoanalysis – Law, Theatre and Violence in Samson (1660)
Law and Literature – Batavische gebroeders (1663)
New Philology – Variants in Adam in ballingschap (1664)
Philosophy – Noah (1667) about God and Nature
Wiep van Bunge
Bibliography of Vondel’s dramas (1850–2008)
About the authors
All those interested in the history and literary history of the Dutch Golden Age; Renaissance, Classicist or Baroque drama; the history of Amsterdam; reception of Antiquity; reception of the Bible; the relation between word and image; literary theory.