Rodney J. This is a new translation of a work which was originally publi in Dutch in and then translated into English in , in which form it achieved renown under thetitleThe Waning of the Middle Ages. The translators suggest that the previous translation was woefully inadequate, while conceding it was still effective. This translation is considerably longer or more complete , has more references, is divided into fewer chapters, and differs in its interpretation of some passages.
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Rodney J. This is a new translation of a work which was originally publi in Dutch in and then translated into English in , in which form it achieved renown under thetitleThe Waning of the Middle Ages. The translators suggest that the previous translation was woefully inadequate, while conceding it was still effective.
This translation is considerably longer or more complete , has more references, is divided into fewer chapters, and differs in its interpretation of some passages. Although the translation was made with Huizinga's participation and approval, its characteristics were not carried forward into subsequent editions in other languages, from which the present translators argue i t represents a sort of false detour. The new translation follows the second Dutch edition of Huizinga explains that he began with the aim of explaining the art of the van Eyck brothers by consideration of life in Burgundy Short Notices in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.
His scope grew to cover the end of the Middle Ages in France and the Netherlands. The result is a thematic study. Each chapter introduces a general proposition about medieval life, which is then supported by a list of examples. Some of these generalisations sound attractive, such as the notion that people took life as it was and could not imagine a better world, or that people thought a lot about death, or that things were felt more acutely than today.
This last is supported by a list of cases of people crying. The effect is diminished by Huizinga's lack of self-reflection. H e criticises Scholasticism as empty form, but Aquinas took care when he advanced an argument to consider objections and counterarguments , which The Autumn of the Middle Ages does not contain. Because the information is arranged by theme, it is difficult to use it in any other way.
For example if you wanted to know what happened in , you would need to look through the entire book. Even then, m a n y examples are undated. There is a strong assumption that the reader already k n o w s the outlines of Burgundian history, and is familiar with Charles the Bold, John the Fearless and the Duke of Orleans.
In the end, Huizinga relies so extensively on literary sources, his work serves as gloss to that literature and its aristocratic audience, but says little about everyday life for the rest.
This translation provides English speakers with an important example of early twentieth-century Dutch historiography. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
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The Waning of the Middle Ages
Its subtitle is: "A study of the forms of life, thought and art in France and the Netherlands in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries". In the book, Huizinga presents the idea that the exaggerated formality and romanticism of late medieval court society was a defense mechanism against the constantly increasing violence and brutality of general society. He saw the period as one of pessimism, cultural exhaustion, and nostalgia, rather than of rebirth and optimism. Huizinga's work later came under criticism, especially for relying too heavily on evidence from the rather exceptional case of the Burgundian court. A new English translation of the book was published in because of perceived deficiencies in the original translation.
The Autumn of the Middle Ages
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Johan Huizinga was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history. Rodney J. Payton is a professor of liberal studies at Western Washington University. The Autumn of the Middle Ages. Johan Huizinga. Few who have read this book in English realize that The Waning of the Middle Ages, the only previous translation, is vastly different from the original Dutch, and incompatible with all other European-language translations. Now, for the first time ever, the original version of this classic work has been translated into English.
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