A den Doolaard
- Category : 1901-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Masks 1
Dutch adventurer, bohemian, writer and journalist.
He was the son of the Dutch reformed pastor Kornelis Spoelstra (20 September 1860, Sneek - 12 October 1918, Ermelo) and Alida Hunningher (7 December 1865, Den Haag - 21 August 1949, Den Haag). He had a younger sister Attie (10 September 1905, Den Haag - 23 November 1961, Nijmegen) and an elder sister Ina (3 March 1897, Pretoria - 22 April 1988, Zoetermeer), who became a nurse. The Frisian name name Spoelstra has not a well-known etymology, but the Dutch word "spoel" means coil, like a wound length of wire for conducting electricity: “the coil in an electric fire.”
When he was born around noon in Zwolle it was freezing cold. As a child he was aggressive, brash and impulsive. Later as the writer with the pen-name Den Doolaard (meaning wanderer) he was proud of it, as it reflected his hunger for freedom and the expansion of horizons. The "Dutch Hemingway" as he was called, liked travelling, climbing mountains and other endurance sports. Reflecting was not his art and he was a mediocre poet. But under the influence of Henri Bergson's vitalism and his born with temperament, he became an active doer. For this reason, he became a popular writer of Dutch teenagers, that needed to fill their Dutch book-list with the in their opinion often boring more reflective writers.
At age 3, he and his parents moved to South Africa. On 27 January 1917 he skated the 120 miles of the legendary Frisian Elfstedentocht. On 23 February 1930, he climbed the Mont Blanc during a winter storm. He impressed Leni Riefenstahl, who came that summer to film "Stürme über dem Mont Blanc".
His biographer Hans Olink called him the Dutch Hemingway in "Dronken van het leven: biografie van de zwerver, schrijver en journalist" (Drunk of life. Biography of a wanderer, writer and journalist).