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Open Access Vroege receptie van Tourniers Le Roi des Aulnes in de Nederlandse literatuurkritiek (1970-1972)

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The early reception of Tournier’s Le Roi des Aulnes in Dutch literary criticism (1970-1972) ‐ a comparison with the reception in France and Germany

This article aims at analysing the early reception by the Dutch literary press of Le Roi des Aulnes, the 1970 novel by the well-known French author Michel Tournier (1924). In this case of literary border transfer, the interpretations and qualifications expressed by Dutch critics are compared to those made by their German and French counterparts.

As it turns out, early Dutch criticism of Tournier’s novel is a hybrid one, oscillating between a more German-orientated, historical interpretation and a psychological, symbolical interpretation, which is typical of French criticism of Le Roi des Aulnes. Moreover, Dutch criticism of Tournier’s novel is far from outspoken, lacking any debate or overtly negative criticism, especially in comparison with certain critics in the German press, such as Jean Améry. As such, no attempt is made to evaluate Tournier’s novel within a distinct Dutch frame of reference, which might be explained by the fact that Dutch critics know that their literary field is a peripheral one, dominated by literary fields such as those in France and Germany. It is also argued that the Dutch, as a polyglot nation, are able to review Le Roi des Aulnes at a very early stage in its original, French version, which could have created a bias towards French criticism.
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Keywords: Bourdieu; Casanova; Dutch literary criticism; Tournier; literary border transfer

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Marjolein Corjanus studeerde Franse Taal- en Letterkunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en is werkzaam als vertaler en recensent. Onder begeleiding van prof. dr. Sophie Levie (Radboud Universiteit) verricht zij zelfstandig onderzoek op het gebied van de moderne literatuur en in het bijzonder het werk van Michel Tournier.

Publication date: January 15, 2015

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  • Het tijdschrift Nederlandse Letterkunde is een wetenschappelijk, peer-reviewed tijdschrift voor de Nederlandstalige letterkunde. Het tijdschrift is een podium voor vakbeoefening in al haar vormen en facetten. De diverse bijdragen beslaan in hun totaliteit het gehele spectrum van Nederlandstalige letterkunde van de Middeleeuwen tot heden. Een jaargang Nederlandse Letterkunde telt drie afleveringen waarvan er steeds één aan een actueel thema gewijd wordt.

    The Dutch-language journal Nederlandse Letterkunde (Dutch Literature) is an academic peer-reviewed journal for Dutch literature. The various contributions cover the entire spectrum of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Nederlandse Letterkunde publishes three issues a year of which one is devoted to a contemporary topic.
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