A “small” distant reading experiment: Comparing Sara Burgerhart and Willem Leevend

Elizabeth_Wolff_and_Agatha_Deken-WikiCommons

Double portrait of Elizabeth Wolff and Agatha Deken by A. Cardon, 1784. Source = Wikimedia Commons

Betje (Elizabeth) Wolff and Aagje (Agatha) Deken, who collaborated as life partners and co-authors over many years, are giants in the Dutch literary canon. They were also integrated into the same religious, cultural and political networks that included many Mennonites. Can the tools of digital scholarship (Voyant Tools, in particular) provide any special insights into their loooooong epistolary novels? This post provides readers and me the opportunity to try out answers to the question using two novels: Historie van mejuffrouw Sara Burgerhart (1782), and Historie van den heer Willem Leevend (1784-85).

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F.A. van der Kemp, “Redevoering gehouden op den Bededag van den 27. Febr. 1782”

NB: Any italicization is from the original. I have highlighted some significant phrases and passages with bold text. The original is from earlydutchbooksonline.nl. If you find passages that need correcting, please let me know. My intention is to make all 11 of van der Kemp’s 1782 sermons available in digital format. –MD

 

PS: This web format allows you, the reader, to put the URL for this post into Voyant Tools. If you wish to do online analysis, this step is easier than copying and pasting the text into the Voyant window. I will eventually remove this English text from the sermon.

 

REDEVOERING, OP DEN BIDDAG, 27. Febr. 1782.

 

Jer. XXII, 29.

O Land, land, land! Hoort des HEEREN voort:

Het dient niet weinig ter opheldering der geschiedenissen, zo des Bibels als des Joodschen Volks, dat de Almachtige deszelvs bizondere Beschermgod en Regeerer waere; door het welk veele, anderzints onoplosselyke, zwarigheden, worden weggenomen. In dezen zin, te weten, met betrekking tot het Staetsbestuur, was het ook, by uitstekenheid, dat God aen Israël zyne rechten en instellingen bekend gemaekt had, het geen hy niet deed aen andere volken.

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Faultline 1700 conference in Utrecht seen through Voyant Tools

Faultline1700From 21-23 January I will be participating in a conference on the theme of “Enlightened Religion — From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety”. It will take place in Utrecht, The Netherlands, and it is part of the Faultline 1700 research project. Together with Jonathan Israel I will provide some closing thoughts at the end of the conference. In preparation for this privilege, I will provide a few ways of summarizing the conference proceedings — even before it begins. Read more