The Best Intentions: Literary Criticism in The Netherlands 1945-2005
08 / 2007 - 12 / 2011
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
The Best Intentions analyzes and describes the role of literary criticism in post-war Dutch literature. The analysis of literary criticism in its literary-historical context has so far tended to concentrate on specific case-studies: for example the reception of a single novel or the critical response to a particular literary movement. Dutch literary criticism as a whole has never been an object of research, even though the period 1945-2005 has seen a number of fundamental changes in the field. In this project the specific expertise of both Dutch Literary Studies and Argumentation Studies is combined in order to develop a new method of analyzing critical strategies used by critics in the period under review. The project will focus on so-called meta-critical, postulative reviews (and fragments of reviews), and literary controversies: these are the texts and text fragments in which the author?s critical intentions are revealed in their purest form. The project results will form the basis of a synthetic monograph on the history of literary criticism in The Netherlands in the post-war era.