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KEATS AND SHELLEY AND "DE BEWEGING VAN TACHTIG"

allicht niet wetenschappelijk heeten mag, maar daartegenover bezield werd door liefde, door aandacht mogelijk gemaakt, vergemakkelijkt ook, waarschijnlijk door een zeker natuurtalent. Zij denken er niet aan, hun meeningen en conclusies voor vaststaande, z.g. 'definitieve critiek' uit te geven. Trouwens ook omtrent deze begrippen verschillen zij eenigszins van de wetenschappelijke historieschrijvers."1 With his own view of the function of criticism one can scarcely quarrel. "Ons aller critische beschouwing," he emphasizes, "verandert met de tijden, is aan voortdurende evolutie onderhevig." 2 One feels inclined, however, not merely to show leniency towards Professor Prinsen, but even to exempt him altogether. At this very point, in fact, he seems to take exactly the evolutionary reading of literature that is desiderated for his like, when he writes of Perk that he "sluit zich aan bij Potgieter in zijn cultus van den weiverzorgden, kunstigen vorm van zijn werk." 3 And with regard to Professors Kalff and Te Winkel, in turn, my commentary would be that, if the charge is in any way true for them, it is quite completely and absolutely so for Professor Ten Brink. His "Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche Letterkunde" is in many ways a magnificent work, in respect both of scholarship and art, but throughout its vast length it is the author's method to keep dividing off his matter into the closest, most water-tight, sort of compartments, making it endlessly difficult to attempt to follow the course of any main literary stream. And nowhere is this annoying and artificial line of treatment so undeviatingly pursued as for the period now under review. Convenient for himself, it may be, to partition the poets off in their strict, chronological order and label them: "Jong-Holland I", "Jong-Holland II", "Jong-Holland III". 4

1 "De Nederlandsche Litteratuur na 1880," p. 2.

2 Jbid., p. 2.

3 "Geïllustreerde Nederlandsche Letterkunde," p. 255.

4 His typical "Oude Garde en de Jongste School" is mercilessly parodied by Lodewijk van Deyssel in his "Verzamelde Opstellen," Volume II, pp. 185-188.

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