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Festival | Book Launch

Book launch: De dichter als idool. Literaire roem in de negentiende eeuw

Friday 29 April 2016
Pieterskerkhof 6
2311 SR Leiden
De dichter als idool

On April 29th, Rick Honings’ De dichter als idool. Literaire roem in de negentiende eeuw will be published.

The official presentation will be on April 29th at Leiden University / Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society. With talks by Gaston Franssen, Sander BaxNiña Weijers and Aad Meinderts. Coen van Beelen and Nick Tomberge will be performing a song especially composed for this occasion.

Celebrities have always been around, but in the early nineteenth century the phenomenon ‘fame’ received a boost. Thanks to Romanticism the idea emerged that the true artist, elevated above ‘normal’ people, should distinguish himself in social and cultural ways by having an eccentric lifestyle and image.

Poets were treated as unique figures. Goethe in Germany and Byron in England became, for instance, true celebrities, with a huge fan base. In the Netherlands too a fascination for famous authors emerged at that time. Their admirers collected autographs, requested locks of hair, sent fan mail, imitated their icon’s style or went on a pilgrimage to meet them. De dichter als idol analyses the image of seven famous authors (such as Hendrik Tollens, Nicolaas Beets, Piet Paaltjens and Multatuli), and also shows how the literary fan manifested themselves. The book offers a first overview of the Dutch history of literary fame in the nineteenth century.

Rick Honings (1984) is a University Professor modern Dutch literature and the chairman of the Dutch Studies programme at Leiden University. His research mainly focuses on literature of the nineteenth century. Together with Peter van Zonneveld he wrote the prized biography De gefnuikte arend. Het leven van Willem Bilderdijk (2013).

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