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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

Martinus Nijhoff, a Dutch Master of Modernism
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Martinus Nijhoff, a Dutch Master of Modernism

(Wiljan van de Akker) The Low Countries - 1996, № 4, pp. 213-219

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Martinus Nijhoff (1894- 1953) belongs among the most important poets to have emerged from the Dutch-speaking countries in the twentieth century. He has always striven to make his poetry as timeless as possible and, given that he is still one of his country' s most widely read poets, he seems to have succeeded wonderfully. Nijhoff can be placed alongside T.S. Eliot and Paul Valéry within the great European tradition of Modernism: a tradition that sought to distance itself from the avant-garde movements which had severed all links with the past and were steering a radical socio-political course. No matter how modern Nijhoff' s ideas and poetry, they always maintained a deep-rooted relationship with tradition and laid great stress on the mastery of the craft. (with five translated poems and one fragment by Martinus Nijhoff)

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