Title
From now on we speak civilized Dutch: the authors of Flanders, the language of the Netherlands, and the readers of A. Manteau From now on we speak civilized Dutch: the authors of Flanders, the language of the Netherlands, and the readers of A. Manteau
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
Publication type
article
Publication
London ,
Subject
Linguistics
Source (journal)
Language and literature. - London, 1992, currens
Volume/pages
18(2009) :3 , p. 265-280
ISSN
0963-9470
1461-7293
ISI
000269922600004
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Subjugated to the linguistic and literary norms of the Netherlands and, at the same time, confined to the borders of the multilingual state of Belgium, Flemish authors have always had to struggle hard to legitimize their cultural identity. After the Second World War, however, Flemish literature suffered from an existential crisis due to the fact that a small but prominent part of the Flemish Movement had collaborated with the German occupiers. Publishers therefore had to explore new ways in which to turn Flemish literature into a commercially and artistically successful commodity in Flanders and the Netherlands. Introducing a theoretical framework that was conceived of by Pierre Bourdieu and further elaborated on by Pascale Casanova in The World Republic of Letters, this article will discuss and interpret the ways in which Flemish publishers have edited, designed, and marketed literary texts, and explore the positive and negative effects which strategies of assimilation and differentiation have had on the reception of those texts. The reading practices engaged in by literary gatekeepers, both in Belgium and in the Netherlands, are shown to have been a profoundly influential force in the history of Flemish literature.
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