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Born Apr. 5, 1929, in Bruges. Belgian writer. Writes in Flemish.
Claus, an avant-gardist, is the founder and editor of the magazine Tijd en mens (from 1949). His poetry, permeated with refined eroticism and gloomy symbolism, reflects the anarchic protest of the individual who is unable to deal with the chaos of his environment—for example, the poetry cycles The House on the Boundary Between Night and Morning (1953), The Oostakker Poems (1955), and Thorns (1955). Claus’ novel The Metsires Family (1950) is a naturalistic account of the degradation of a peasant family. The novel At Summer’s Peak (1952) is about a youthful search for the meaning of life. The self-analysis of a mental patient is the basis of the novel Astonishment (1962). Claus’ naturalistic novels— From Nature (1954), Sugar (1958), and Chief of a Black Tribe (1959)—have specific social themes, imbued with the idea of struggle for moral purity.
Claus is the author of the psychological drama Bride in the Morning (1955), the romantic melodrama The Song of a Killer (1957), and a parody on subjects treated in his own works, The Heron’s Dance (1962). His plays and dramatizations Thyl Ulen-spiegel (1965), Eldorado (1966), Thyestes (1966, based on the tragedy by Seneca the Younger), The Jester (1968), and A Tooth for a Tooth (1970) are anti-imperialistic in tone.
WORKSIn Russian translation:
[Rasskazy.] In the collection Rasskazy bel’giiskikh pisatelei. Moscow, 1968.
REFERENCESRutten, M. Nederlandse dichtkunst van Kloos tot Claus. Hasselt, 1957.
Dinaux, C. J. E. Gegist bestek, vol. 2. ’s-Gravenhage .
Moderne encyclopedie der wereldliteratuur, vol. 2. Ghent, 1964.
Weisgerberg, J. Hugo Claus: Experiment en traditie. Leiden .
S. A. MIRONOV