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Document Details :
Title: Vlaams experimenteel proza in de jaren vijftig
Author(s): VERVAECK, Bart
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 48 Issue: 4 Date: 2006
This article tries to systematize the Flemish fiction experiments in the fifties by focusing on two interrelated topics: the link between formal and thematic experimentation, and the link between fiction and other genres. The study of thematic innovation reveals two sets of experimental novels: those preoccupied with elaborating the subconscious and those preoccupied with broadening the consciousness. The first set can be represented on a continuum starting from mildly experimental existentialist novels and ending with more wildly experimental surrealistic fiction. The experiments on the left pole play with narrative techniques such as focalization, whereas those on the right pole import poetic techniques such as sound associations. The second set can be represented on a continuum starting from mildly experimental self-conscious novels and ending with more wildly experimental novels that aim to reach a synthesis between fiction and other genres, including the essay and the film. The left pole limits itself to a play with purely narrative techniques, more specifically the narrating voice. The study of the work of some ten Dutch novelists from this perspective reveals that this kind of systematization can answer some thorny questions in the historiography of Flemish literature.