In the picture: Brandt’s De Veinzende Torquatus (1645), Providentially Assigned Stadtholders and the Politics of Rational Deception by Tom Laureys

GEMS researchers are frequently publishing new articles, books, book chapters, edited volumes and blogs. In ‘in the picture’ we put a spotlight on a recent publication of one of our members.

Tom Laureys, “‘I, Who Used to Serve as Jupiter’s Lightning on Earth’: Geeraerdt Brandt’s De Veinzende Torquatus (1645), Providentially Assigned Stadtholders and the Politics of Rational Deception” in Dutch Crossing. Journal of Low Countries Studies (2019).

In this article, I show that Geeraerdt Brandt’s popular Dutch revenge tragedy De veinzende Torquatus (‘The feigning Torquatus’, 1645) engages with the political debates concerning the rightful succession of monarchs based on primogeniture, and – be it in a grotesque, even parodic way – the Calvinistic belief that the Dutch stadtholders were God’s providential instruments, assigned to guide His chosen people. Moreover, I show that the play offers a confrontation between two conflicting conceptions of power. The play’s eponymous protagonist holds what I call an intellectual (idealistic) conception of power, in which man’s rational faculty, including his capacity for rational deception, is all-decisive. This vision, though, clashes with the more physical (materialistic) conceptualization of power which Torquatus’s antagonist Noron upholds. I’m pretty proud about this publication, since it is my first A1 article and the manuscript was accepted by the reviewers without further remarks. The review process took about five months, but I was astonished by the speed with which the actual production took place. Within a couple of days, the article was available online. Soon it will be allocated to a specific issue in print.

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