Johannes Andreas Jolles

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Johannes Andreas Jolles , known as André Jolles (born August 7, 1874 in Den Helder , † February 22, 1946 in Leipzig ) was a Dutch-German art historian , literary scholar and linguist . He is best known today for his main work, Simple Forms .


Jolles was born on August 7th, 1874 in Den Helder. His father Hendrik Jolle Jolles died on February 25, 1888 in Naples, he grew up as the only child with his mother Jacoba Cornelia Singels (1847-1901) in Amsterdam.

In the 1890s he worked on various magazines, 1893 Van Nu en Straks , 1895 De Kroniek , 1897/98 as an editor for art and science at De Telegraaf . In the meantime he studied Egyptian and Semitic languages in Paris and Amsterdam in 1893/94 and in 1899 at the University of Leiden .

In 1896 he first met Johan Huizinga , who was to become a long-term friend, in Groningen. On a trip to Italy with Huizinga in 1899 he met his future wife Mathilde Tilli Mönckeberg (1879-1958). They married in September 1900, their first son Hendrik was born in June 1901, but he died a year later. After that they had five children: Jeltje, Jacoba, Jan Andries, Matthijs and Ruth.

Jolles, who had become wealthy through the death of his mother in 1901, began studying at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau , where he received his doctorate on August 3, 1905 with a thesis on Vitruvius's aesthetics under Otto Puchstein . From January 1907 he gave his habilitation lecture on the narrative and the descriptive element in the fine arts in antiquity and the Middle Ages in Freiburg, his habilitation thesis The Egyptian-Mycenaean Ornamental Vessels appeared in 1908. He also wrote the plays Vielliebchen and Alkestis , which in Hamburg with Carl Mönckeberg were listed.

In 1908 the family moved to Berlin, where from 1909 he taught as a private lecturer for older art history at the Friedrich Wilhelms University .

After the war began, he volunteered at the age of forty and a Dutchman. After several refusals, an artillery regiment accepted him. Jolles became naturalized and took part in the First World War , initially as a soldier and finally as a lieutenant in the Landwehr . As an officer in the occupation forces, he accepted a professorship for Classical Archeology and Art History at Ghent University in 1916 . In his absence, he was sentenced to 15 years of forced labor in Ghent in 1920.

In Ghent he already lived with Margarethe Grittli Boecklen (1895–1967). After divorcing Mathilde, the two married in August 1918 shortly after the birth of their first child, Barbara. Jolle, Jacob Cornelis and Eva-Gertrud followed in the next few years.

André Jolles became an associate professor for Flemish and Dutch language and literature, and from 1923 also for comparative literary history at the University of Leipzig .

His main work, Simple Forms , appeared in 1930 , in which he presented a typology of oral narrative forms ( myth , saga , legend , fairy tale , memorabilia , case , riddle , saying , joke ) . As stated in the preface, the book is based on Jolles' lectures given by Dr. Elisabeth Kutzer and Dr. Otto Görner wrote down and edited them. Jolles' further reflections on the art forms did not progress so far that he could publish them.

On May 1, 1933, he joined the NSDAP , alienating friends and children from his first marriage. Jeltje was married to a Jewish engineer; As a communist, Jan Andries was forced to go into exile. In 1937 Jolles joined the SD . In 1941 he retired and from 1942 worked on a study on Freemasonry for the SD . On the occasion of his 70th birthday, he received the Goethe Medal for Art and Science from Hitler in 1944 .

On a questionnaire he filled out in May 1945 about his Nazi past is handwritten: is still a nazi - too old (71 years) to be arrested . André Jolles committed suicide on February 22, 1946.

Publications (selection)

  • Vitruvius's aesthetics. Diss. Freiburg i.Br., 1906 ( full text ).
  • The Egyptian-Mycenaean pompous vessels. Habilitation thesis (Freiburg i.Br.). In: Yearbook of the Imperial German Archaeological Institute. Volume 23, 1908, pp. 209-250.
  • From Schiller to the community stage. Leipzig 1919.
  • Targeting en Vorm. Essays over letters. Tjeenk Willink, Haarlem 1923. (Dutch)
  • Simple shapes. Legend, saga, myth, riddle, saying, case, memorabilia, fairy tale, joke. Halle (Saale) 1930 (Research Institute for Modern Philology Leipzig: Modern German Department; 2) Online ; Reprint Darmstadt 1958.
  • Freemasonry. Nature and customs. First Book: The Origin of Freemasonry. Nordland-Verlag , Berlin <not published> (sources and representations on the Freemason question; 5).


Individual evidence

  1. a b André Jolles on digital library voor de Nederlandse letteren, accessed on August 27, 2010
  2. Review by Frank-Rutger Hausmann : It's still enough for features , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung , December 28, 2001

Web links