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Open Access De avonturen van een kostschoolmeisje

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The adventures of a schoolgirl. Dorothea van Male, Schola Nostra (1971), and Hugo Claus’s rewriting practice

While Hugo Claus’s oeuvre has been studied abundantly (and fruitfully) from the perspective of erudite intertextuality, the rewriting of popular narrative culture in his novels has been neglected. This one-sided focus has clouded the protean nature of Claus’s texts, in which high and low, literate and vulgar coexist. By means of a case-study on the experimental novel Schola Nostra (1971), this article demonstrates the significance of popular narrative culture for the understanding of Claus’s oeuvre. Schola Nostra caused a lot of interpretative difficulties for contemporary literary critics, who dismissed it as a senseless ‘curiosity cabinet’; the novel has been overlooked ever since. By introducing reading keys which take Claus’s rewriting of literary as well as popular genres into account, it is however possible to shed light on this volatile publication. The approach is twofold: the first reading key is provided by the popular genre of the girl’s book, the second is related to the rewriting of markedly literary genres. This combination of reading perspectives enables a meaningful interpretation of the work; at the same time, it reveals Schola Nostra’s opposition to unambiguous reading schemes. By doing so, the analysis provides new poetical and interpretative tools to study the author’s novelistic oeuvre.
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Keywords: experimental fiction; girl’s book; mystification; rewriting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Linde De Potter is verbonden aan de Vakgroep Letterkunde (Afdeling Nederlands) van de Universiteit Gent. Momenteel werkt ze aan een proefschrift over Hugo Claus’ romanoeuvre., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: September 1, 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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