Piet Paaltjens

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Francois Haverschmidt. Francois Haverschmidt.jpg
François Haverschmidt.

François Haverschmidt, also written as HaverSchmidt (February 14, 1835 in Leeuwarden – January 19, 1894 in Schiedam), was a Dutch minister and writer, who wrote prose under his own name but remains best known for the poetry published under the pen name of Piet Paaltjens.

Leeuwarden City and municipality in Friesland, Netherlands

Leeuwarden is a city and municipality in Friesland in the Netherlands. It is the provincial capital and seat of the States of Friesland. The municipality has a population of 122,293.

Schiedam City and Municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

Schiedam is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands. It located in the Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, west of Rotterdam, east of Vlaardingen, and south of Delft. In the south it is connected with the village of Pernis by the Beneluxtunnel.

Minister (Christianity) religious occupation in Christianity

In Christianity, a minister is a person authorized by a church, or other religious organization, to perform functions such as teaching of beliefs; leading services such as weddings, baptisms or funerals; or otherwise providing spiritual guidance to the community. The term is taken from Latin minister, which itself was derived from minus ("less").


Life and career

Poem by Paaltjens (Immortelle XLIX in a window in The Hague (2019) Immortelle Paaltjens Den Haag 2019.jpg
Poem by Paaltjens (Immortelle XLIX in a window in The Hague (2019)

Haverschmidt read Calvinist theology at Leiden University, graduating in 1858. He successively became minister in Foudgum, Den Helder and Schiedam.

Calvinism Protestant branch of Christianity

Calvinism is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians. Paul Helm, a well-known Reformed theologian, appropriately uses the term Augustinian Calvinism due to John Calvin's self-admitted adherence to Augustine's theology. "Augustine is so wholly within me, that if I wished to write a confession of my faith, I could do so with all fullness and satisfaction to myself out of his writings."

Leiden University university in the Netherlands

Leiden University is a public research university in Leiden, Netherlands. Founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange; leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War; as a reward to the town of Leiden for its defense against Spanish attacks, it is the oldest institution of higher education in the Netherlands, and the twelfth-oldest in Europe.

Foudgum Village in Friesland, Netherlands

Foudgum is a small village in Noardeast-Fryslân in the province of Friesland, the Netherlands. It had a population of around 72 as of January 2017. Before 2019, the village was part of the Dongeradeel municipality.

During his student days, he had some of his poetry published in student magazines under the pen name of Piet Paaltjens, around whom a playful but elaborate mystification was created as Haverschmidt kept his poetry separate from his "serious" prose and sermons, not unlike Nicolaas Beets.

Deception is an act or statement which misleads, hides the truth, or promotes a belief, concept, or idea that is not true. It is often done for personal gain or advantage. Deception can involve dissimulation, propaganda, and sleight of hand, as well as distraction, camouflage, or concealment. There is also self-deception, as in bad faith. It can also be called, with varying subjective implications, beguilement, deceit, bluff, mystification, ruse, or subterfuge.

Nicolaas Beets Dutch theologian, writer and poet also known as Hildebrand

Nicolaas Beets was a Dutch theologian, writer and poet. He published under the pseudonym, Hildebrand.

He became a prime suspect for being the anonymous author of the Oera Linda Book [1] , the inferred reason being a practical joke [2] (a parody of the Bible to lampoon fundamentalist Christians) [3] . However, many of his contemporaries believed the book to be authentic. This would have prevented Haverschmidt and his collaborators (if they were indeed the authors of the supposedly millennia-old text) from unmasking their hoax, which consequently completely backfired.

Anonymous work work that have an anonymous, undisclosed, or unknown creator or author

Anonymous works are works, such as art or literature, that have an anonymous, undisclosed, or unknown creator or author. In the case of very old works, the author's name may simply be lost over the course of history and time. There are a number of reasons anonymous works arise.

Oera Linda Book Possibly hoax manuscript

The Oera Linda Book is a manuscript written in a form of Old Frisian, purporting to cover historical, mythological, and religious themes of remote antiquity, from 2194 BCE to 803 CE. Among academics in Germanic philology, the document is widely considered to be a hoax or forgery.

Practical joke Trick played on someone generally using physical action, and generally causing embarrassment, confusion, or discomfort

A practical joke, or prank, is a mischievous trick played on someone, generally causing the victim to experience embarrassment, perplexity, confusion, or discomfort. A person who performs a practical joke is called a "practical joker". Other terms for practical jokes include gag, jape, or shenanigan.

Haverschmidt became progressively more depressed, especially after his wife's death in 1891, and ultimately committed suicide in 1894.


Snikken en grimlachjes (poetry) Snikken en grimlachjes.jpg
Snikken en grimlachjes (poetry)

As Piet Paaltjens

Snikken en grimlachjes poetry anthology by Piet Paaltjens

Snikken en grimlachjes is the best-known work of Piet Paaltjens, a fictional poet created by Dutch poet and minister François Haverschmidt (1835–1894). Originally, it contained a collection of 24 poems. It appealed to a large audience, possibly due to its humoristic, melancholic-romantic tone, or maybe due to the poetry missing a "moral purpose", as Haverschmidt himself stated in the preface to the first edition. Typical for Paaltjens' poetry is the combination of romantic clichés, irony, and crude reality.

International Standard Book Number Unique numeric book identifier

The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

As François Haverschmidt

Short story work of literature, usually written in narrative prose

A short story is a piece of prose fiction that typically can be read in one sitting and focuses on a self-contained incident or series of linked incidents, with the intent of evoking a "single effect" or mood, however there are many exceptions to this.

Sermon oration by a member of the clergy

A sermon is an oration or lecture by a preacher. Sermons address a scriptural, theological, religious, or moral topic, usually expounding on a type of belief, law, or behavior within both past and present contexts. Elements of the sermon often include exposition, exhortation, and practical application. The act of delivering a sermon is called preaching.

Alexander Johan Berman

Ds. Alexander Johan Berman was the Dutch Reformed minister of Watergang. He also engaged in literary criticism and, in his younger years, poetry. He published an anthology with works by authors of his era.

As both

English translation

A section of Snikken en grimlachjes has been translated into English by Jacob Lowland as Everlastings (1850–1852) (Amsterdam: Aarts, 1982)

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