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Vondels 'Aenleidinge'. Polyfonie en dialogisme

Author(s): Jansen, Jeroen

ISSN 1567-6633

Volume: 2009;
Date: 2009;
Original page

The `Aenleidinge ter Nederduitsche dichtkunste’ of Joost van den Vondel is a prose introduction to a new edition of his Poëzy (1650), in which Vondel writes down advices for the way arriving poets can qualify themselves in poetry. These recommendations vary from basic conditions (having talent) up to a number of advices for advanced, talented poets (e.g. how to imitate). Studies from the seventies of the last century by S.F. Witstein, E.K. Grootes and L. Strengholt have emphasized the didactic character of the text and the fact that it is modelled to Horace’s Ars poetica. The structure of the `Aenleidinge’ is central to these analyses, all of which reached a different classification, anyway. My analysis aims at polyphony and dialogism, in particular at finding and constructing dialogues. Certain elements encourage such a way of reading. The conditional subordinate clause, the use of modal adverbs, the negation, and the change between a `hij’ (he, the poet) and a `gij’ (you, a person addressed) indicate polyphony to which shreds of `single lessons’ resound. In all these cases dialogues can be (re)constructed. The analysis on underlying `voices’ allows infinite (general) interpretations, but can also indicate certain cases in a finite (concrete) way. Concerning this last point additional material can be found in the nature of the text and in the context. I consider the `Aenleidinge’ not particularly as a poetics in which Vondel displays his erudition and tries to imitate or vie with Horace, but rather as the reproduction of cases from Vondel’s own practice in his confrontation with arriving poets, who let him read their work and asked him to comment on it. The `Aenleidinge’ then may have been for Vondel also a medium to slightly diminish the number of poets who came to his house for consultation. That his comment is impregnated of Horacian conceptions seems logic given the predominating position of this traditional authority in seventeenth-century poetics.

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