De politiek van de goede verstaander


  • H. te Velde



Ego documents, historiography, Francois HaverSchmidt


Henk te Velde, The politics of the good listener
Jensma’s thesis is an outstanding example of a well-written, assiduously researched, and clearly defined study. In the conclusion, the author has great difficulty characterizing the book. This may have something to do with the rather introspective nature of the book, as a result of which the author also missed some opportunities to demonstrate the broad cultural relevance of his research. The research concerns a joke that got out of hand, but which in actual fact was much more than just a practical joke. It deals with a left-wing liberal notion of culture in which humour, satire, play and debate are weapons that make culture and politics worthwhile.


There is a clear parallel between the world of those involved in the Oera Linda book and the simultaneous short-lived boom of left-wing liberalism in politics. This form of politics was directed towards the civilised, rational, non-denominational ‘good listener’, for whom a well-placed word was sufficient to drive home a message. Jensma would have rendered this beautiful book even more powerful had he further elaborated upon the politico-cultural aspects of the humour and irony of his main characters.

 This review is part of the discussion forum 'De gemaskerde God' (G.T. Jensma).


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How to Cite

Velde, H. te. (2006). De politiek van de goede verstaander. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 121(3), 447–452.