Tall Stories

Belachelyken voorval van een kalf ter wereld gekomen den 27 januarii 1778, met eene tore-cap naer de moden

‘Paper is patient’, goes the Dutch saying. According to the Van Dale Dutch dictionary, it means that you ‘can write down even the most flagrant lies and the greatest idiocies and absurdities’. In this guided tour we shall be giving this a positive twist: on this tractable paper – and also on the papyrus of Antiquity and the parchment of the Middle Ages – you will discover an incredible number of tall stories and meet curious creatures and remarkable characters. They originate both in the authors’ immediate surroundings and in remote and exotic regions. God’s delightfully wondrous world provided plenty of room for the fabricators of stories and those credulous enough to believe them, for visionaries and liars, who, moreover, eagerly cribbed their predecessors’ stories, often with added extras and not necessarily with ‘superior’ intentions. Or did some of these stories ‘really happen’? Brace yourself for a stiff round of ‘true or false?’

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