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This project aims to explain how Dutch literary education in the half century before the Second World War was used as an instrument for the creation of a national cultural repertoire, with regard to the Dutch societal phenomenon of Pillarisation and the contrast between knowledge of the national oeuvre and personal expression.

The reconstruction of this period is based on:

  • discussions on literary education in cultural periodicals and magazines for the educational sector;
  • school books;
  • the practice of giving lessons, insofar as this can be retraced.

Results of this study are juxtaposed with the historical growing autonomy in literature and with comparable foreign developments.


dr. Ton van Kalmthout