Everhardus Johannes Potgieter


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Potgieter, Everhardus Johannes

 

Born June 27, 1808, in Zwolle; died Feb. 3, 1875, in Amsterdam. Dutch writer and critic.

Potgieter was a commercial agent in Amsterdam. He helped found the journal De Gids (The Guide) and from 1837 to 1865 was one of its editors. Potgieter criticized the petit bourgeois way of life in his first work, the satirical allegory John, Jean and Their Youngest Child (1841). He contrasted this way of life to the heroic past of the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th centuries. Potgieter also wrote the collection of poems Songs of Bontekoe (1840) and the essay “The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam” (1844). Such novellas as Whortleberries (1845) described simple people realistically.

After the Revolution of 1848, pessimistic notes appeared in Potgieter’s work, although as a whole it retained its socially critical nature. His narrative poem Florence (1865; published 1868) glorified the figure of Dante. Potgieter also wrote critiques, as well as studies of Dutch and foreign writers. He was an outstanding representative of romanticism in Dutch literature.

WORKS

De werken, vols. 1–20. Haarlem, 1886–95.

REFERENCES

Verwey, A. Het leven van Potgieter. Haarlem, 1903.
Smit, J. E. J. Potgieter. The Hague, 1950.
De volledige briefwisseling van E. J. Potgieter en Cd. Busken Huet, vols. 1–2. Groningen, 1972.

V. V. DANCHEV