Since his debut, Gerrit Achterberg was a poet whose verses attracted much attention because they were so unique. At the beginning of his writing career he belonged to the circle around the protestant periodical Opwaartsche Wegen,later on he became a prominent figure in the so called Criterium generation that came to the fore in the mid 1930s. The magazine Criterium (1939-1942) played a major role in Dutch literature, and the work of the poets who belonged to the circle surrounding that periodical – like Bertus Aafjes, Gerard den Brabander, Pierre H. Dubois, Jac. van Hattum, Han G. Hoekstra and Ed. Hoornik ? is characterized by the unique combination of pure lyricism and a deep social involvement that was inspired by their times.
The Achterberg collection of the Literary Museum covers the period 1925-1961. The basis of the collection is formed by Achterberg’s personal records, which were administered by his widow for many years after his death before being given to the museum. In the course of time, the collection has been supplemented with documents from other bequests and archives. It includes letters to and from Achterberg, handwritten documents, typescripts, printer’s proofs, official and personal papers and publications that are unique for bearing handwritten annotations and dedications.
The manuscript of the collection of poems Eiland der ziel (published in 1939) has been selected for this site (click 'inhoudsopgave' to browse through the document).