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Comedy and CrisisPieter Langendijk, the Dutch, and the Speculative Bubbles of 1720$
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Joyce Goggin and Frans De Bruyn

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781789622201

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781789622201.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

Culture and Finance

Culture and Finance

Langendijk’s Wind Traders

(p.149) Culture and Finance
Comedy and Crisis

Joyce Goggin

Liverpool University Press

This chapter supplements the introductory and contextual discussion of Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders provided by Meijer in 1892, with an updated consideration of the play’s continuing historical and cultural value. It explores cultural stereotypes of various “foreigners” that appear recurrently in these Dutch texts, particularly in the figure of John Law, portrayed as a Frenchified Scotsman; the French more generally; and outsiders, particularly the Jewish community. The popular theatre was a medium in which social anxieties were frequently expressed - focused in this instance on a fear of contagion from France and its corrupt financial schemes. This chapter explores how Quincampoix, or the Wind Traders culturally expresses this fear at the level of language and character. It shows how national identities were shaped and challenged by the desire to trade in an new, globalizing market that encompassed several countries in Western Europe, and it shows how national stereotypes hardened in the rush to attribute culpability and cupidity, or rationality and innocence, as apparent financial catastrophe loomed. And because these plays enjoyed an afterlife in the nineteenth century with the publication of Meijer’s edition, Quincampoix is discussed in this chapter as an early example of the thematization of finance in popular culture.

Keywords:   Cultural stereotypes, National identity, Marriage market, Metaphors of contagion, Anti-semitism

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