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Een problematisch symbool van vooruitgang. De representatie van de spoorwegen in De Hollandsche Illustratie (1864-1884)

Author:

Thomas Smits

NL
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Abstract

The railways are one of the most vivid symbols of the Nineteenth Century. Their strong symbolic meaning is, however, far from unproblematic. Representations of the railways seem to reflect both a strong confidence in 'the genius' of the Nineteenth Century, but also a strong fear of what the future will bring. The railways figure prominently in the illustrations of one of the first Dutch illustrated periodicals: De Hollandsche Illustratie (1864-1884). The two symbolic meanings of the railways can be found in the pages of this Dutch magazine. In this article I argue that the character of these representations depends largely on the specific possibilities of the medium, i.e. the illustrated periodical in a Dutch context. The limited possibilities of the Hollandsche Illustratie are the reason why most of the illustrations have a foreign origin, despite the strong development of the Dutch railways in the period and the wish of the editors to create a magazine with 'national' content. The limited possibilities also prevented a quick reaction to current affairs. I argue that the editors of De Hollandsche Illustratie tried to increase the value of illustrations they bought from other magazines by giving them a stronger symbolic meaning.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.94
How to Cite: Smits, T., (2012). Een problematisch symbool van vooruitgang. De representatie van de spoorwegen in De Hollandsche Illustratie (1864-1884). Tijdschrift voor Tijdschriftstudies. (32), pp.151–164. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18352/ts.94
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Published on 28 Dec 2012.
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