Jeune Belgique, La

Jeune Belgique, La


(Young Belgium), a literary association of the 1880’s and 1890’s in Belgium. It published a journal under the same name (1881–97).

La Jeune Belgique was a result of the growth of national self-awareness in Belgium and the striving of progressive literary circles to create a distinctive national literature, free from the blind imitation of foreign, particularly French, models. The association’s members included E. Verhaeren, G. Eekhoud, J. Rodenbach, C. Lemonnier, and M. Maeterlinck (there were 14 members in all), who advanced the slogan “Let us be ourselves” (Soyons nous). The abstract slogan of “moderate naturalism,” proclaimed by M. Waller, the leader of La Jeune Belgique, and the negation of the social role of art led the association to the reactionary aesthetic credo of “art for art’s sake.”

La Jeune Belgique served to unite Belgian literary circles and to stimulate an interest in a Belgian national literature.


Molodaia Bel’giia. A collection edited by M. Veselovskaia. Moscow, 1908.
Charlier, G., and J. Hanse. Histoire illustree des lettres francaises de Belgique. Brussels, 1958.