- Publiek, ik veracht u... enigszins: discursieve autonomie in Nederland rond 1800
- Spiegel der Letteren
- Volume | Issue number
- 55 | 1
- Number of pages
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam Institute for Humanities Research (AIHR)
Recent literary scholarship usually distinguishes between two types of autonomy. Institutional autonomy concerns the creation of a professional and independent literary field, whereas poetical autonomy points to ideas about the self-legitimizing power of literary artworks. In the Netherlands both forms of autonomy supposedly arose almost simultaneously at the end of the nineteenth century. This article introduces a third form of autonomy: discursive autonomy, an author’s way of speaking and writing that shows how he places himself in a(n) (semi-)independent position. This form of autonomy already manifests itself in the early nineteenth century among marginal authors, especially hack writers. In this article, two of those authors are discussed: Pieter van Woensel (1747-1808) and Jean Baptiste Didier Wibmer (1792-1836). In particular, two tensions are analysed that can be found within their oeuvres, and that are both connected to the issue of discursive autonomy: the author as both dependent and independent of the audience and as both sincere and insincere towards that audience.
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