Huizinga had an aesthetic approach to history, where art and spectacle played an important part. His most famous work is The Autumn of the Middle Ages (a.k.a. The Waning of the Middle Ages) (1919). He here reinterpreted the later Middle Ages as a period of pessimism and decadence rather than rebirth.
Worthy of mentioning are also Erasmus (1924) and Homo Ludens (1938). In the latter book he discussed the possibility that play is the primary formative element in human culture. Huizinga also published books on American history and Dutch history in the 17th century.
Alarmed by the rise of National Socialism in Germany, Huizinga wrote several works of cultural criticism. Many similarities can be noted between his analysis and that of contemporary critics such as Ortega y Gasset and Oswald Spengler. Huizinga argued that the spirit of technical and mechanical organisation had replaced spontaneous and organic order in cultural as well as political life.
The Huizinga Lecture (Dutch: Huizingalezing) is a prestigious annual lecture in the Netherlands about a subject in the domains of cultural history or philosophy in honour of Johan Huizinga.
Read more about this topic: Johan Huizinga
Famous quotes containing the word works:
“They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, these see the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep.”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalms, 107:23-4.
“On pragmatistic principles, if the hypothesis of God works satisfactorily in the widest sense of the word, it is true.”
—William James (18421910)
“For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast
crowned him with glory and honor.
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands;”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalm VIII (l. VIII, 56)