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Document Details :
Title: Het Brugse proces tegen Camille Lemonniers L'homme en amour en zijn betekenis voor het Belgische literaire veld rond 1900
Author(s): HUPE, Katharina , GRÜTTEMEIER, Ralf
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 57 Issue: 3 Date: 2015
In 1900, Camille Lemonnier, the ‘Maréchal des Lettres Belges’, was brought before court due to explicit descriptions of the main character’s sexual adventures in his novel L’Homme en amour. This was the last trial against a Belgian author initiated because of violation of morals regarding a literary work. This article analyses within a field-theoretical framework to what extent this trial indicates a new degree of of literature within Belgian jurisprudence. We argue that the specific argumentation of the defence before court, the public protests against the prosecution of Lemonnier and the passionate criticism in the press suggest a relatively high degree of institutional autonomy of literature in twentieth-century Belgium – at least according to the behaviour of the judicial, political and journalistic elite.