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DUTCH POETRY AND ENGLISH

ments of the professor of poetics all the finality and accuracy associated with an exact science. Of two things, I think, he fails to take sufficiënt stock: that, as Van Leeuwen well notes, "dit grondprincipe van Kloos en Van Deyssel is stellig onaantastbaar", 1 and that part of the very originality of our poet-critic lies in the singularly adroit way he analyses the theories of his predecessors in the field, juxtaposes his own, and more through this loose inter-relationship than by any positive borrowing puts himself in possession of as extensive a body of doctrine as ever poet managed to assemble. It is here, assuredly, that the English critics of poetry make their entry upon the Dutch stage; and it becomes all the more difficult to understand Khouw Bian Tie's failure to seize upon this fundamental connecting-link when he has himself given us so able a study as "De 'Prefaces' van Wordsworth". 2

The poetry of Holland during the decade 1880—1890 Kloos was quick to note "nam haar voorbeeld in de Engelsche van het begin dezer eeuw". 3 It is, of course, the natural tendency of youth to see in Shelley a dazzling luminary that nothing can dim. What is not so common is for youth to extend this hero-worship of the man and poet and with steadier gaze take in the critic as well. Kloos seems actually at this time to have conceived a deeper veneration for Shelley in this later röle than in either of the former. "In Kloos se eerste krietiese werk," rightly claims Dekker, "is ook sterk invloed van Shelley se 'Defence' te bespeure."4 As usual, however, he reads too much into the comparison he institutes, and would even make the Dutch critic owe some of his own most specialised tenets — such as that vorm en inhoud bij poëzie zijn één" and that "kunst de allerindividueelste ex-

1 "De Nieuwe Gids," 1936 II, p. 20.

2 Vide "De Nieuwe Gids," May, 1936.

3 "De Nieuwe Litterarische Geschiedenis," Vol. III, p. 32.

4 "Die Invloed van Keats en Shelley in Nederland gedurende die Negentiende Eeu," p. 113.

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