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Document Details :
Title: Stoffelijk overschot
Subtitle: Over de werking van het abjecte in Toussaint van Boelares Het gesprek in Tractoria en De dode die zich niet verhing
Author(s): VERSCHAFFEL, Bert
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 48 Issue: 2 Date: 2006
An important part of the short stories of Toussaint Van Boelare (1875-1947) is far removed from tragic, rural literature. These stories do not only dramatize the city and urban adventures. They also interiorize the deregulating mechanism typical of the urban condition: the ‘deviation’ replaces lust and fate. In Het Gesprek in Tractoria (1911) and De Dode die zich niet verhing (1938) the random, unreasonable intervention of bodily detritus – in the former a corpse, in the latter merde – disturbs the normal and anticipated course of events. The abject functions as a disquieting effet de réel, which is responsible for the tragicomic failure of the (anti-) hero’s life, while it unexpectedly provides a ‘solution’ and thus undermines both the pretensions of life and the credibility of the story.