Woestijne, Karel van de

Woestijne, Karel van de

(kä`rəl vän də vo͞o`stīnə), 1878–1929, Flemish symbolist poet and novelist. He also had some reputation as a painter. He worked for a time as journalist and from 1919 was professor of Dutch literature at the Univ. of Ghent. His early verse was semiautobiographical and explored themes of spiritual and sensual love. Such later works as De Modderen Man [the man of mud] (1920), also semiautobiographical, dealt with conflicting emotions and desires and with unrealized dreams. His prose tales were often based on legendary and biblical themes.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Woestijne, Karel van de

 

Born Mar. 10, 1878, in Ghent; died Aug. 23, 1929, in Zwijnaarde. Belgian poet who wrote in Flemish.

Van de Woestijne was professor of Dutch literature at Ghent. He belonged to the symbolist movement and derived his themes from old legends (Verses, 1905). In Flemish Primitives (1902-03), stylized in imitation of popular literature, he creates an atmosphere of loneliness and expectation of death. His collections of verses The Paternal Home (1903) and The Golden Shadow (1910), as well as the poetic trilogy Man of Mud (1920), God by the Sea (1926), and The Mountain Lake (1928), represent the symbolized autobiography of a writer of the decadent school.

WORKS

Verzameld werk, vols. 1-8. [Brussels, 1947-50.]

REFERENCES

Rutten, M. De lyriek van Karel van de Woestijne. [Liège, 1934.]
Rutten, M. Het proza van Karel van de Woestijne. Paris, 1959.
Severen, G. van. Karel van de Woestijne. Brussels, 1944.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.