September 8, 2018

Dutch and Flemish poetry now all in one database

Filed under: Literature by Orangemaster @ 1:56 pm


On the website run by Utrecht University, Dutch-language specialist Kila van der Starre has been attempting to inventory all public poetry in the Netherlands and Flanders for a year and a half now, and is already headed towards 2000 entries from 957 different poets.

The fun part is, everybody can participate by adding their findings in a database that is searchable by title and author. The author with the most entries so far is Ida Gerhardt with 35 poems.

Great stuff for anyone into Dutch-language poetry, as I’m assuming they’re only noting those ones – and rightly so. There are surely poems in other languages and dialects throughout the country.

(Link:, via, (Illustration: Dutch-American poet, artist and scientist Leo Vroman by Leo Vroman, self-portrait)

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October 10, 2017

Flemish brochure features Amsterdam by mistake

Filed under: Photography by Orangemaster @ 10:16 pm


The Flemish government used a picture of Amsterdam for a publication on figures for 2017, the original link of which has been pulled for now because they’ve made themselves a laughing stock for the time being.

The coordinator of the official brochure claimed they had no idea it was a picture of Amsterdam. “We chose the picture because it’s a dynamic image that also radiates diversity”, which is a cringeworthy nod to the fun non-white guy on the bike in the foreground whose friends have been tagging him on Facebook like crazy by the way. I mean he’s the ‘diversity’ that’s being pointed out, right? Hand offs, he’s ‘our’ diversity Flanders, get your own.

The street is Runstraat, a fun shopping street downtown Amsterdam part of the ‘negen straatjes’ or the nine little streets.

(Link and image:

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February 9, 2011

Flanders fears Dutch invasion of slow students

Filed under: General by Orangemaster @ 2:49 pm

De Telegraaf reports that universities in Flemish-speaking Belgium fear an influx of Dutch students once tuition fees in the Netherlands go up for ‘lazy students’.

State secretary for Education Halbe Zijlstra wants to crank up tuition for these students to about 5,000 euro, while studying in Flanders costs a mere 557 euro a year and is of comparable, if not sometimes better quality.

“Dutch students in Flanders already have a bad reputation: at the University of Antwerp Dutch students are twice as likely as Belgians to drop out and the failure rate at the University of Ghent is also very high.”

Under European law, universities are not allowed to discriminate against students from other Member States, and Flemish Minister of Education Peter Smit is keeping his eye on the border crossing. Sounds a bit much? It apparently happened to French-speaking Belgium (aka Wallonia) with an ‘invasion’ of French students some time ago.

And then using the word ‘lazy’ is something Zijlstra himself uses on telly as of late. He feels that someone who takes 7 years to complete a university degree has issues. Then again, stories like having sick parents, having been in an accident and ‘I chose the wrong study programme’ are often heard as responses.

(I took 5 years to finish my 3-year Bachelor’s in Qu├ębec because I did two years part-time (had to work part-time to pay for it) and had to do one year over when I switched universities because an entire year was refused by my new university. Laziness was not an issue! Oh and I graduated cum laude.)

(Links : dutchnews via telegraaf)

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December 13, 2010

Literary classics from the Low Countries as one page comics

Filed under: Comics,Literature by Branko Collin @ 8:43 am

Dutch comics intendant—yes, that is an official title—Gert Jan Pos asked 57 comics artists from the Netherlands and Flanders to create abstracts of classic Dutch literature in comic form. There was one catch, each comic had to encompass the entire work in a single page.

The resulting coffee table book was published last month by De Vliegende Hollander and is called ‘Mooi Is Dat!’ (That Is Just Dandy!). It is sold for 35 euro.

Artist Holly Moors of Moors Magazine is happy with the result: “The book not only shows that there are a lot of very talented comics artists out there, but also that the comic has been an adult medium for a while now. The artists hardly ever merely regurgitate the work they are dealing with, but give completely personal impressions of each text.”

Comics script writer Peter Moerenhout is more critical: “If comics have literary value in and of themselves, why then do we need to base comics on literary classics to prove our point? […] The need is understandable, we require bait to lure the unbelievers. At least if we used sex as bait, we could only be accused of crass commercialism, and that is no longer just an insult.”

See also:
An interview with Gert Jan Pos by Michael Minneboo.

(Illustration: cover by De Vliegende Hollander / Ruben Steeman)

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