• Teksten in contexten of voorstellingen van kinderen in Jacob Cats’ Houwelyck en de anonieme Der Vroed-vrouwen verre-kyker

Teksten in contexten of voorstellingen van kinderen in Jacob Cats’ Houwelyck en de anonieme Der Vroed-vrouwen verre-kyker

Joanna Kozikowska
Google Scholar Joanna Kozikowska
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Teksten in contexten of voorstellingen van kinderen in Jacob Cats’ Houwelyck en de anonieme Der Vroed-vrouwen verre-kyker

 

In this article I present the problem of the circulation of themes between various discursive practices which involves the topic of the child in the 17th century Dutch culture. I analyse the manner in which these themes were adopted by various authors and afterwards again reinterpreted and used. The discussion of these questions is based on the analysis of two 17th century texts: Moeder from Jacob Cats’s Houwelyck 1625 and Der Vroed-vrouwen Verre-kyker published in 1690 by an anonymous surgeon. Deliberately I chose two texts which at first sight seem completely different. Firstly due to the fact that they concern various domains, secondly because both books can be found in the collections of the Old Prints Department of Wrocław University Library. These collections are the central context of my considerations, in which I intend to situate the analysis of the two selected works. So I present the history of the collection’s beginnings and lots of particular specimens of the abovementioned texts. Then I discuss the two books in question, their structure and forewords in which the authors present their motivation and purpose for writing. I analyse the selected extracts with respect to the problem of so-called ‘wondergeboorten’ [miraculously born] which is present in both texts. In these different books analogous perspectives can be found: both on the appearance of a new family member, a child, and especially on the situation when something goes wrong. Thus both texts present similar themes regarding the figure of the child, which were typical not only for the 17th century Netherlands but also for other European cultures and times.

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