Joseph Roth in den Niederlanden und Flandern: Vermittlung, Vernetzung und Orchestierung eines vielseitigen Autors im niederländischsprachigen Kontext 1924-1940

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


This dissertation investigates the contemporary mediators and networks that played an important role in the canonization of Joseph Roth’s (original and translated) work in Flanders and the Netherlands. These mediators and networks made a substantial contributionto Roth’s intellectual and literary life (and were the key to his ‘survival’) in the period of his exile in these countries. The theoretical framework employed in this study is based on Von Dorleijn and van Rees’s views on the literary field (2006). Even beforehis time in exile, Roth established and maintained numerous contacts with Dutch speaking mediators, who promoted his work in the Low Countries. During his stay in the Netherlands in 1936 he made a concerted effort to achieve the best possible financial arrangements with his publishers and he preferred to keep company with well known journalists and artists, who were willing to promote his work. His ability to influence his mediators clearly depended on his personal contacts with them and his physical presence in Amsterdam. The popular literary critic Anton van Duinkerken for example, was a friend who gave invaluable support to Roth helping him to survive both financially and intellectually during his exile in Amsterdam. The analysis of this particular acquaintance (that was established in 1934) shows that there was a clear mutual interest in each other’s inner circle. On the one hand Roth and his editor wanted to win over the Dutch ‘literary Pope’; on the other hand van Duinkerken also profited from the connections as it allowed him to expand his own network and to promote his position among Roth’s friends. Roth would refer to almost all of those who lent him support and promoted his work as ‘a friend’, for instance the hotel manager Blansjaar, the ‘Chef de Réception’ Andries van Ameringen, the art historian and drinking companion Frans Hannema, the Jewish author Maurits Dekker or the director of the publishing company De Gemeenschap, Cornelius Vos. However he was, and would remain, more deeply committed to those friends he had met before 1933, especially Stefan Zweig, and also Hermann Kesten and Walter Landauer, staff members of the Amsterdam ‘exile publishing companies’ Allert de Lange and Querido. Also, he never lost contact with Nico Rost, the journalist Roth had met in Berlin in the Twenties. Rost used his relationship with different exile publishing companies to arrange contracts for Roth and tried to promote Roth’s work in the Flemish newpaper Vooruit. Rost is therefore the most important node in Roth’s 1924-1940 network. This study highlights the significance to Roth’s work of Flemish mediators such as Toussaint van Boelaere, Urbain Van de Voorde and Johan De Maegt. It also shows the importance of Roth’s stay in The Netherlands in 1936 and in Belgium in 1936 and 1937 in terms of both his work and the work of his Dutch speaking mediators.
Original languageGerman
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Naaijkens, Ton, Primary supervisor
  • Campe, P., Co-supervisor, External person
Award date9 Dec 2011
Publication statusPublished - 9 Dec 2011


  • Specialized histories (international relations, law)
  • Literary theory, analysis and criticism
  • Culturele activiteiten
  • Westerse Letteren (WLET)
  • Overig maatschappelijk onderzoek

Cite this