Meertalige praktijken in het eentalige paradigma : Jacques Presser en Franz Kafka

Title: Meertalige praktijken in het eentalige paradigma : Jacques Presser en Franz Kafka
Variant title:
  • Multilingual practices within the monolingual paradigm : Jacques Presser and Franz Kafka
Author: Zegers, Twan
Source document: Brünner Beiträge zur Germanistik und Nordistik. 2022, vol. 36, iss. 1, pp. 67-77
  • ISSN
    1803-7380 (print)
    2336-4408 (online)
Type: Article

Notice: These citations are automatically created and might not follow citation rules properly.

This paper approaches Dutch-Jewish historian Jacques Presser's work from the perspective of multilingual practices. It is largely an elaboration on the argument developed by Yasemin Yildiz in Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition. She shows how for Franz Kafka, language and ethnicity were inextricably tied, which posed problems for him as a German-speaking Jew. This article explores the consequences of Jacques Presser's Jewishness for how he and his work relate to the several languages he spoke. It concludes that Presser's relationship to language is less fraught than Kafka's, and argues that one important explanation for this difference lies in the mutual distinctness of German and Dutch discourses of national identity.
[1] Anderson, Benedict (1983): Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London and New York: Verso.

[2] Bakhtin, M.M. (1930; 1981): The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist. Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin and London: University of Texas Press.

[3] Bateson, Gregory (1936; 1958): Naven: A Survey of the Problems Suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe Drawn from Three Points. Redwood City: Stanford University Press.

[4] Bregstein, Philo (1972): Gesprekken met Jacques Presser. Amsterdam: Athenaeum Polak & Van Gennep.

[5] Buruma, Ian (1999): Voltaire's Coconuts, or Anglomania in Europe. London: Weidenfeld & Nicholson.

[6] Dandeij, F.M.J (2020): Romeyn de Hooghe op de bres voor de burgerlijke eenheid. Het politiek-religieuze debat rond 1700 aan de hand van De Spiegel van Staat (1706–1707). PhD thesis. Rotterdam: Erasmus University Rotterdam.

[7] Fehrenbach, Elisabeth (2007): Verfassungsstaat und Nationbildung 1815–1871. München: Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag.

[8] Frijhoff, Willem (2019): 'Nederlandse identiteit in historisch perspectief'. In: Sociaal en Cultureel Rapport 2019 – Denkend aan Nederland. Den Haag: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.

[9] Graeber, David (2013): 'Culture as Creative Refusal'. In: The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology, Vol. 31, No. 2. New York: Berghahn Books.

[10] Halsema, Frans (1978): 'Jean-Francois en Piet van Dijk'. In: Hoogtepunten uit de One Man Show van Frans Halsema (LP). Amsterdam: Philips Records.

[11] Hooghe, Rom(e)yn de (1706–1707): Spiegel van Staat. Amsterdam: Jan ten Hoorn.

[12] Kafka, Franz (1912): 'Einleitungsvortrag über Jargon'. Found at:, consulted 2022/06/06.

[13] Kontje, Todd (2004): German Orientalisms. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

[14] Langewiesche, Dieter (2010): 'Föderative Nation, kulturelle Identität und politische Ordnung. (Rück-)blick aus dem 19. Jahrhundert'. In: Schmidt, George (Ed.) Die deutsche Nation im frühneuzeitlichen Europa. Politische Ordnung und kulturelle Identität? Berlin: De Gruyter.

[15] Lyotard, Jean-Francois (1979): La condition postmoderne: rapport sur le savoir. Paris: Les Éditions de Minuit.

[16] Pickus, David (1995): Dying With an Enlightening Fall: Poland in the Eyes of German Intellectuals, 1764–1800. PhD thesis. Chicago: University of Chicago.

[17] Presser, Jacques (1941): Exodus, een kleine cyclus. In: Corr. J. Presser en H.G. Baschwitz; 1943–1945. The Hague: Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie [since renamed NIOD Instituut voor Oorlogs-, Holocaust- en Genocidestudies].

[18] Presser, Jacques (2010): Homo submersus – een roman uit de onderduik. Amsterdam: Boom.

[19] Roegholt, Richter (1999): 'Denken aan Jacques Presser'. In: De Gids, jaargang 162, p. 460–473. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij J.M. Meulenhoff.

[20] Schama, Simon (1987): The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Knopf.

[21] Wagner, Richard (1850; 1869). Das Judenthum in der Musik. Leipzig: J.J. Weber.

[22] Weinreich, Max (1945). 'Der YIVO un di problemen fun undzer tsayt'. Talk given at annual YIVO conference, 1945/01/05.

[23] Yildiz, Yasemin (2013): Beyond the Mother Tongue: The Postmonolingual Condition. Charlotesville: University of Virginia Press.

[24] Zee, Nanda van der (1988): Jacques Presser. Het gelijk van de twijfel. Een biografie. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Balans.