34.1 | Marit van de Warenburg and Thomas van Gaalen

A Ball for the Refused: Struggle over Literary Freedom within the Dutch Literary Field

We close this issue with our very own Marit van de Warenburg
and Thomas van Gaalen, who discuss a case of literary activism in the
Netherlands by reflecting on the schism between the Boekenbal (“Book Ball”), a high profile Dutch literary festival, and its 2002 rival the Bal der Geweigerden (“Ball of the Refused”), which was organized in response to the perceived bourgeois and commercial nature of the Boekenbal. Working with a Bourdieuian approach, they argue that instances of clash and protest within a literary field can bring inconsistencies in literary values to the surface, thereby significantly weakening “the self-evidence of a field’s fundamental assumptions” (147) in public discourse.