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Astrid Kulsdom

Visualizing connections between women writers discussed by Conrad Busken Huet in his Literarische Fantasieën en Kritieken (1881-1888)


The importance of Conrad Busken Huet’s (1826-1886) contribution to literary opinion making in the Netherlands of the nineteenth century cannot be denied. As one of the leading literary critics Busken Huet published an abundance of articles in many different periodicals from 1859 onward, a selection of which was gathered in the 25 volume collection entitled Literarische Fantasieën en Kritieken (Literary Fantasies and Critiques, 1881-1888). Being in contact with several Dutch women writers and even married to one, Busken Huet was rather concerned with female authorship in general, and the articles collected in the LFK volumes contain a wide range of varying opinions on female-authored fiction. Furthermore, Busken Huet regularly compares women writers to each other, using country, period, or writing style (among other factors) as points of similarity or contrast.

Using our work and discussions of the 2nd Think Tank Meeting “Preparation of data in view of VRE” (held in The Hague, September 2012) as a starting point, I will attempt during this presentation to visualize the transnational connections, comparisons and relationships between women writers as established by Busken Huet in his Literarische Fantasieën en Kritieken. In doing so I hope to illustrate how visualizations can enhance our understanding of our data and how they can lead to new insights and questions.

SvD, November 2012

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