Een lezing van Natalia: Vier elegieën (1842) van Prudens van Duyse

Janneke Weijermars*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    The Flemish poet Prudens van Duyse (1804-1859) wrote an exquisite elegy about his deceased sister, Natalia (1842). He repeatedly rewrote, extended and reprinted it, so the poem is handed down in different versions. Van Duyse as well as contemporary reviewers and literary historians considered this poem an absolute highlight of his extensive oeuvre.
    Prudens van Duyse is considered to be a transition figure in the Flemish literature: in several poems and prose texts he unfolded progressive views about literature that can be associated with the work of other romantic writers from Germany, The Netherlands and France. Van Duyse argues that the Flemish literature must be guided by imagination and the individual feelings of the author. That was a new insight in Flanders, because the literature of that time was largely dominated by the rules that were prescribed by the chambers of rhetoric. This article demonstrates to what extent the poet in Natalia adhered to the norms for mourning poetry that prevailed in the time, or whether he carried out the renewal that he set out in his own poetic texts.
    Original languageDutch
    Pages (from-to)43-58
    Number of pages17
    JournalVerslagen en Mededelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2020

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