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Document Details :
Title: Couperus' belangstelling voor de Middeleeuwen
Author(s): VAN ANROOIJ, Wim
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 55 Issue: 3 Date: 2013
Couperus’s literary work reflects his fondness for Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. That Couperus was also fascinated by the Middle Ages is less well-known. International research on Medievalism offers a useful starting point from which to explore this aspect of Couperus’s work. The novel Het zwevende schaakbord [The Floating Chessboard], written during World War I and inspired by a thirteenth-century Middle-Dutch Arthurian romance on Gawain, is well-known in this respect. This article, however, shows that Couperus had already read this medieval text during his college days. Jan ten Brink, Couperus’s teacher, laid the foundation for this lifelong interest in the Middle Ages. Couperus’s view of the Middle Ages was later influenced by the New Mysticism (c. 1900) and by his many visits to museums and medieval towns in Italy and Spain. Research into Medievalism opens new possibilities for research on Couperus, including his opinions on the East.