Het verzwegen Limburgs

Joep Leerssen

In een recent onderzoek naar taalkeuzes van ingezetenen van Nederland en Vlaanderen is Limburgstaligheid, een dagelijkse en bewuste werkelijkheid voor 700.000 Limburgers, weggemoffeld. Dat is velen (waartonder mij) in het verkeerde keelgat geschoten. Een open protest is online gegaan onder de titel Wij spreken Limburgs maar de Taalunie wil dat niet weten. Dat protest is in eerste instantie door een zestigtal “zichtbare” Limburgers ondertekend – academici, geprofileerde vertegenwoordigers van de cultuursector en de media, en ook enkele "celebrities". Het staat hier online, voor wie benieuwd is (en misschien mee wil ondertekenen).

Latest Blog Posts

Against ‘Representativity’

As a cultural historian studying stereotyped representations of national characters (‘imagology’) I am often asked by my social-scientific or social-historical colleagues how I can determine the representativity of the literary material I study. If, in studying the English image of Italy, I draw on George Eliot and E.M. Foster, is that not a very restricted and rarefied data sample, almost a random stab in the dark? What wider conclusions could possibly be drawn from such a minute sample regarding ‘the’ image of Italy in England, or attitudes generally vis-à-vis Italy as current in England?

That ‘representativity’ challenge mistakes the cultural and social meanings of the word. A representation in the cultural sense is a symbolical construct (usually verbal or visual) aiming to give a mimetic simulacrum of the real world; a social representation is a certain actor or portion of society acting on behalf of others. To justify the word in its former meaning in terms of its latter meaning is misleading and irrelevant.[....]

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Popcorn heroics, modern nationalism

Roel Reiné is a filmmaker with a penchant for heroic-historical action movies with heavy overlays of special effects. His popular action movie Michiel de Ruyter (2015; distributed internationally under the English title Admiral) already contained a remarkably anachronistic, flag-waving speech extolling the character and greatness of the Dutch nation (online here). In interviews, Roelé testifies to his appreciation of patriotic flag-saluting ceremonial in the USA. He would like to see a similar ethos in his native Netherlands, and is candid about this as the motivation for the bombastic flag-waving in Michiel de Ruyter.

Roelé, again teamed up with producer Klaas de Jong, has now turned his attention to an earlier hero: The Frisian King Redbad (†719), known for his resistance against Christianization and Frankish hegemony. Advance notices (the film Redbad is due out this month) indicate that this is, again, an unabashedly nationalistic production and that its script (again by Alex van Galen) involves a similar mixture of anachronistic distortions of historical fact and manipulative xenophobic ethnotyping.[....]

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