Victor E van Vriesland
- Category : Writers-Critic
- Type : GE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (19,30,50,53,55)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
Dutch writer, translator, poet and critic.
He was the youngest son of the Liberal Jewish merchant Adolph Isidore van Vriesland (31 March 1859 3 AM , Rotterdam - 23 Augustus 1916, Baarn) and Duifje Schoolmeester (1862 - before 1916). They married 10 June 1884 in Haarlem. He had an elder brother Siegfried Adolph, a lawyer (2 May 1886 5 PM , Haarlem - 4 Dec 1939, Jerusalem) and a sister Rosina Hendrica (30 April 1885 5 PM, Haarlem - 1 October 1942, Auschwitz). His father was a "nouveau riche" millionaire who had made a fortune in drapery, possessed several large houses and could afford a lot of personal. So Victor had Dutch and French governess to care for him and became a rich man in 1916 after his father death.
Van Vriesland was born in Haarlem, moved in 1895 at age 3 to Amsterdam and at age 6 to Den Haag. Here he visited the Gymnasium Hagarum and became a friend with his class mate Martinus Nijhoff, who would become a major Dutch poet. But the young dandy Van Vriesland would leave school prematurely as he only had interest in the literary streams of his time, drinking red wine and talking about the work and life style of Baudelaire, Verlaine and Wilde with friends. But thanks to the by his rich father financed private lessons by the poet and teacher Johan Andreas dèr Mouw, he still managed to do the state examination and was stimulated both intellectually and artistically. Dèr Mouw became his spiritual mentor. In 1911 and 1912 he published his first poetry in "De Nieuwe Gids" en "De Beweging".
In 1913 he went to Dijon to study French Letters, as he was impressed by Gide and Valéry. But born rich he had more interest in wine cellars than to study for a proper job. In 1914 he could not go back after his summer holiday spent in Holland because of WWI. From 1914 to 1917 he lived in the large house of his Zionist brother Siegfried, who also hosted many Jewish refugees from Eastern Europe. Victor also became a Zionist and published the brochure "De cultureele noodtoestand van het Joodsche Volk" (The cultural emergency situation of the Jewish people) in 1915. His brother moved in 1919 to Israel, erected the "Vereniging van Nederlandse Immigranten in Palestina", got a career in Palestine, but committed suicide 4 Dec 1939.
In 1917 he married Marie Huguenin Dumittan (? - 22 March 1931) in Switzerland, in 1918 they bought a land house in Blaricum, The Netherlands. In the twenties his literary career as a critic for magazines went well and he became friend with Roland Holst, Gus de Smet and Menno ter Braak and other bohemians. In 1925 he wrote the not that successful "Der verlorene Sohn". In 1926 he wrote the novel "Het afscheid van de wereld in drie dagen", a sombre book about his death wishes that he published in 1953. In 1926 Marie got a psychosis and was hospitalised for 5 years in sanatorium Santpoort until she died 22 March 1931. In 1929 he published his first poetry bundle "Voorwaardelijk uitzicht". With the Stock Market Crash of October 1929 he lost his capital, and as he still lived on big feet he got debts. For the first time in his life he had to work to get his money.
From 1931 to 1938 he got a job as editor "kunst en letteren" (art and letters) of the leading Dutch paper for intellectuals "Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant" (NRC). His erudite reflections were bundled in "Onderzoek en vertoog" in 1958. In 1938 he was end editor of the cultural magazine "De Groene Amsterdammer", but that dealing with death lines job was to exhausting for him, so he left early. End 1939 he published "De spiegel der Nederlandsche poëzie door alle eeuwen", an anthology of Dutch poetry.
During WWII, being of Jewish heritage, he could not publish under his name and used many pen names including that of J.C Bloem. His sister Rosina was caught, deported and killed 1 October 1942 in Auschwitz. He and his second wife Tonny could hide in Bergen aan Zee and Amsterdam with help of friends, but being used to many intellectual connections he suffered from depressions in his isolated hiding places: "In de barre leproserie van mijn isolement lijd ik aan depressies". From September 1942 to January 1943 he wrote the philosophical study "Grondslag van verstandhouding" (The Basics of relations) to keep mentally upright. In 1943 Vriesland hid in Zwolle in the house of the lawyers family Harro and Carina Bouman.
From 1945 to 1965 Van Vriesland became chairman of the Dutch PEN club. From 1962 to 1965 he was President of PEN International, the worldwide association of writers. He translated poetry and as a literary critic he was a member and often also chairman of many committees that awarded literary prices. In 1954 he received a honorary doctorate for Letters and Philosophy from Leiden University. He also received the Constantijn Huygens Prize in 1958 and the P.C. Hooft Prize in 1960.
Victor van Vriesland liked to drink wine and the strong spirit "Jenever" when speaking about spiritual matters. In his youth he behaved like a dandy. He married four times. His first wife Marie Huguenin Dumittan he married 1917. She got mad in 1926 and died 22 March 1931 of mental disease.
He got lost in many ways. On 1 June 1938 he (age 45) he remarried the 22 years old writer Antonia Wilhelmina "Tonny" van der Horst (25 November 1915, Rotterdam - 6 September 2005). The couple got no children and divorced 23 July 1946. Tonny remarried and got three children. On 31 October 1946, he married Anna Maria Gesina Baan. They got a son and a daughter: Johan IJsbrand Victor Adolphe (31 mei 1947- 2012) and Aline Marianne Dora (2 november 1948 - 1976). The divorced 26 September 1951 and for a long time he was not allowed to see his children. Begin 1952 he was gravely ill and his physicians expected him to die. As he was afraid that his literary documents would fall in the wrong hands after he died of illness, he married on 7 February 1952 his friend Adrienne Germaine Leonie Canivez, an actress, in the Juliana hospital in Amsterdam. He survived and would live with her till his death. In the fifties and sixties he got recognition and published major poetry.
In his last years he suffered from lung disease. He died 29 October 1974 in Amsterdam.