Gorter, Herman

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Name
Gorter, Herman Gender: M
born on 26 November 1864 at 02:30 (= 02:30 AM )
Place Wormerveer, Netherlands, 52n29, 4e48
Timezone LMT m4e48 (is local mean time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Koppejan
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 04°08' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 26°32 Asc.s_libcol.18.gif 08°53'



Herman Gorter

Biography

Dutch poet, translator, classicist and socialist.

Herman "Pans" Gorter was the son of the Baptist pastor Simon Gorter (11 December 1838, Warns - 5 June 1871, Rhenen) and Johanna Catharina Lugt (19 February 1839, Amsterdam - 20 June 1923, Berlin). They got 5 children, Herman being the second. His father Simon Gorter suffered so much from tuberculosis that had no air left to preach. Between December 1864 and April 1866 the family was send to Arcachon in Southern France for fresh air. In 1869 Simon stopped preaching and became editor of "Nieuws van den Dag" (1871) and "De Gids". Autumn 1870 he moved to the Veluwe village of Rhenen, again to find fresh air. He died 5 June 1871 at age 32, when Herman Gorter was only six years old. His mother Johanna ran the family and earned some money with pension holding in Amsterdam.

From 1877 to 1883 Herman followed the Barlaeus-gymnasium in Amsterdam. From September 1883 to May 1888 he studied Classical languages in Amsterdam (UvA). He was an active student, loved to play cricket, was a member of UNICA and became acquainted with the "Tachtigers" Willem Kloos, Albert Verwey, Lodewijk van Deyssel, Frederik van Eeden and Jacobus van Looy via their "Flanor" group.

On 2 October 1889 he dissertated as Hermanus Gorter on the Greek tragedy writer Aeschylus: "De interpretatione Aeschyli Metaphorarum: dissertatio litteraria" (UvA). His friend Willem Kloos stimulated to write his most famous poem "Mei" (May), that appeared in February 1889 in the "Nieuwe Gids" and on 20 March 1889 as a book. His famous words "Een nieuwe lente en een nieuw geluid" were inspired by his love for fiancée (since 1887) Wies Koopmans and his romantic hero John Keats. In September 1890 he published "Verzen", a bundle with sensitive and emotional poetry in which he used neologism.

On 17 July 1890 Gorter married Louise Catherine "Wies" Cnoop Koopmans (8 February 1865, Amsterdam - 19 November 1916, Bergen). They got no children. Gorter first worked as a teacher Classical languages in Amersfoort (December 1889 - May 1893), but then he managed to dedicate his life to literature and his social ideas.

In 1890, the year of "Verzen", his marriage and his first job, Gorter had a spiritual crisis. The cultural movement of the "Tachtigers" honoured the "l'art pour l'art principle". They were bored with the moralistic pastors poetry tradition of "De Gids" and launched a new perspective in "Nieuwe Gids" (New guide) with the financial aid of Willem Witsen. They tended to be left wing or liberal, but they were not prepared to give up their privileged positions. End 1890 Gorter turned from aestheticism to symbolism. End 1892 (sep/dec) he rejected a honourable offer to become editor of "De Nieuwe Gids". As moral matters did matter to him being born in a pastors family classicist.

Early June 1895 he published the Dutch translation of the "Ethica" of Baruch der Spinoza. In his "Spinozistische gedichten" (1892-1896) he longed for eternal ethical guidelines, but also for ecstasy, mystical experiences and becoming a servant of the Absolute. He developed the ideal of "Gemeenschapskunst" (Community art) that centred around a common idea, that would bring society on a higher level. Gorter came to believe that Marx' revolution theory was just what he searched for. In the same year (1895) he inherited a large sum of money after the death of his very rich Merchant ("Koopman") father-in-law. But he and his wife kept on living sober in Bussum and invested part of their money in the magazine "De nieuwe tijd".

In May 1897 Gorter became a member of the socialistic SDAP and became editor of "De nieuwe tijd" (The new time). In 1903 he published socialistic poems (Verzen) and in 1904 he translated the "Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei" into Dutch. September 1908 he published "Het historisch materialisme. Voor arbeiders verklaard". It was translated in many languages ()In 1909 he became a chairman of the SDAP and turned to the communist CPN party after 1917. In 1918 Gorter was at the side of Karl Liebknecht, Rosa Luxemburg and the Spartacists. Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg were assassinated. In 1920 he became a member of the radical Arbeiter-Partei Deutschlands (KAPD) and erected her sectarian Dutch sister Kommunistische Arbeiders Partij Nederland (KAPN). The party would not become popular and the individualistic Gorter felt lost. From 12 March - 11 June 1921 he wrote open letters to Comrade Lenin. He would become disappointed in Lenin and the Stalinist terror that followed the Russian revolution. He would become more often depressed.

Gorter died suddenly 15 September 1927 St-Joost-ten-Noode, near Brussels, Belgium. He had just been on holiday in his favourite country Switzerland and got an attack of angina pectoris on his way home.

Personal

Gorter became as a student a fanatic cricket fan and he was also a member of the Significs group.

Gorter had a complex love live, maintaining extramarital affairs with Ada Prins en Jenne Clinge. Years after his death this became known.


Link to Wikipedia biography

Relationships

  • associate relationship with Vloten, Johannes van (born 18 January 1818). Notes: Both Spinozists, connected via "Nieuwe Gids"
  • friend relationship with Witsen, Willem (born 13 August 1860). Notes: "Tachtigers", De Nieuwe Gids
  • other kind of relationship with Spinoza, Baruch (born 24 November 1632 (greg.)). Notes: translator of "Ethica"

Events

  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released February 1889 (Poem "Mei" in "De Nieuwe gids")
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 20 March 1889 (Poem "Mei" as seperate book)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 2 October 1889 in Amsterdam (De interpretatione Aeschyli Metaphorarum: dissertatio litteraria)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 17 July 1890 ("Wies" Koopmans)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released September 1890 (Verzen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 8 June 1895 in Den Haag (Early June 1895 Dutch translation of the "Ethica" of Baruch der Spinoza.)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released September 1908 (Het historisch materialisme. Voor arbeiders verklaard)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death by Heart Attack 15 September 1927 in Brussel (Age 62)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Koppejan quotes Municipal Archive for 26 Nov 1864 2h30 AM Wormerveer in "Beeldgids van de Dierenriem". LMR quoted "Circels" of Jan Kampherbeek who gave no source.

There is plenty of biographical information, including works and letters available online: Gorter, Herman (1864-19270, Herman Gorter · dbnl, Herman Gorter, IISG, Herman Gorter Archive and Herman Gorter (1864-1927) | Koninklijke Bibliotheek which has a nice time-line.


Categories

  • Traits : Body : Diet unusual (vegetarian)
  • Diagnoses : Major Diseases : Heart disease/attack
  • Diagnoses : Psychological : Depression (end of life)
  • Family : Childhood : Disadvantaged (lost father at 6)
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted (pastors family)
  • Lifestyle : Financial : Gain - Inheritance (1895 from rich father-in-law.)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Groups (Active in Socialist and Communist parties)
  • Lifestyle : Social Life : Sports (cricket)
  • Vocation : Education : Teacher (Classical languages)
  • Vocation : Writers : Magazine/ newsletter (De Nieuwe Tijd)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet
  • Vocation : Writers : Translator (From spinoza's Ethica to "Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei")