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Reading: 'Geen Fries spot met zijn land'. Nationalisme, ironie en het Oera Linda-boek

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'Geen Fries spot met zijn land'. Nationalisme, ironie en het Oera Linda-boek

Author:

G. Jensma

Abstract

Irony, nationalism, and the Oera Linda book

The Oera Linda book is a curious enigma which came to light in the Dutch town of Den Helder in 1867. It is an ambiguous literary text which can be read in two different ways: On the one hand as a nonsensical parody on the tradition of Friesian fantastic historiography, and on the other as a much more serious allegory of the nineteenth-century conflict between liberal theological modernism and orthodoxy. The attribution of this anonymous text to the Minister/ Poet François HaverSchmidt (1835-1894) subsequently shows how an ironic style of thinking and writing can be a by-product of modernisation. In the case of HaverSchmidt and his Oera Linda book, this irony is working in two spheres, viz. that of regional identity and that of religion. In both cases, HaverSchmidt's irony is the result of a strongly felt tension between tradition and modernity, between the desire to believe in a fantastic, non-critical nationalist historiography or in the existence of a wonder-working God on the one hand, and on the other a commitment to the knowledge that such things can no longer exist in a modern world.

Keywords: Nationalism ,   Image  
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.5712
How to Cite: Jensma, G., 2002. 'Geen Fries spot met zijn land'. Nationalisme, ironie en het Oera Linda-boek. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 117(3), pp.331–343. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/bmgn-lchr.5712
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Published on 01 Jan 2002.
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