I am reading this book, and as I am reading it might as well be turned into a study. If you do something, do it well. The book tries to explain what makes the dutch dutch. How do we seperate us from our neighbouring people, and what binds us – In short the book tries to explain who we are, and how we have become that way.
What I am planning to do is simply underline the important parts that I read and translate them to English – because the book is written in Dutch. My reason for it is again: The information might be useful for people that don’t have access to the book, but are interesting in certain topics. I choose to do this in English, simply because that is the language that almost everyone understands nowadays.
I will try to summarize it in chapters. I’m not sure if I keep doing it for the enitre book, after all it’s hobby – I just try to combine usefull activity with fun and socialness. Not sure yet if those are able to be combined.
So let’s get on!
In order to understand the nature of a people we must look at:
– it’s history, it’s up- and downfalls, it’s crisis and it’s hightides.
– The physical structure of the Dutch: the appearance reveals, but also shapes the innerworld.
– The basic groundmarks from the southern European against the Northern European
– After that looking at the own characteristics of the Dutch in the middle of the Northern people.
That is how you get a number of basic qualities of the Dutch nature and it’s connected qualities.
These ground qualities get tested by our big historic personalities: They ar our big examples.
After that we look at the influence of the landscape, the soil, the surrounding nature and their effect on our being.
The influence of our soil and water is tied to our history: Our people began to feel as a nation in the time of the seperation between North and South of the 80-year war.
Then we look at our main cultural expressions: our literature, our art, our science.
The nature of a people is to be recovered by looking at his work and products of that work instead of looking at it’s everchanging and disappearing behavioural forms. That is the same with the people of a nation: By the fruits one can tell the tree.
Nothing fascinated the Dutch for centuries long as much as religion and all sorts of religious questions. The religion for a big part influenced how the Netherlands have taken shape today, and therefor there will be given attention to it.
These points will automatically set apart the different facets of our nature.
Further we will discuss the branching and twigging of our nature in types of provinces, regions, the countryside and the big cities.
At last we will look at a selection of judgements and sayings from the side of foreigners about us and our being. In the big lines they can sharply see our strengths as well as our weaker sides.
My own (the author’s) research stretches over many decennia: Many sources I used. From Groningen to Middelburg and Eysden I (the author) held lectures about subjects of this research.
I made an impressionist painting, because I think that such a painting can give a better image of a landscape then a map that is filled with cold statistics.
Leiden, Dec. 1963
Prof. Dr. A. Chorus