Ostaijen, Paul van

▪ Flemish writer
born Feb. 22, 1896, Antwerp, Belg.
died March 18, 1928, Anthée

      Flemish man of letters whose avant-garde Expressionist poetry and writings on literature and art were influential in Belgium and The Netherlands.

      While working as a municipal clerk from 1914 to 1918, van Ostaijen began to contribute poetry to newspapers and periodicals. His first volume of verse, Music-Hall (1916), introduced modern city life as a subject for Flemish poetry. His second, the humanitarian Het sienjaal (1918; “The Signal”), showed the influence of World War I and German Expressionism and inspired other Expressionist writers in Flanders. A political activist, van Ostaijen went into exile in Berlin from 1918 to 1921. The political and artistic climate there and the hardships he endured caused a spiritual crisis that led him to write nihilistic Dadaist poetry, such as that in Bezette stad (1921; “Occupied City”). After his return to Flanders, van Ostaijen worked in the book trade and became an art dealer in Brussels (1925–26). Striving to achieve a “pure poetry” that transcended the subjective, van Ostaijen soon developed a poetic system of his own. He set out this principle in the profound essay Gebruiksaanwijzing der lyriek (1927; “Lyrical Poetry: Directions for Use”) and embodied it in Gedichten (1928; “Poems”), a collection of evocative fragments of exceptional sensibility and haunting musicality that represents his best and most original poems.

      Van Ostaijen also wrote several perceptive essays on art and literature, collected in two volumes (1929–31). His creative prose, such as that in Vogelvrij (1927; “Outlawed”) and Diergaarde voor kinderen van nu (1932; “Zoo for Today's Children”), consists mainly of grotesque sketches that demonstrate his keen imagination. Its lucidity, stubborn analysis of a theme, and underlying restlessness sometimes recall the prose of the Austrian writer Franz Kafka (Kafka, Franz). Not surprisingly, van Ostaijen had been Kafka's first foreign translator, publishing in Dutch five of Kafka's short prose pieces in 1925. Van Ostaijen's collected works (Verzameld werk), edited by G. Borgers, were published in four volumes (1952–56; reprinted 1970).

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Paul van Ostaijen — Nom de naissance Leopold Andreas van Ostaijen Activités Poète Naissance 22 février 1896 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Paul van Ostaijen — (* 22. Februar 1896 in Antwerpen; † 18. März 1928 in Miavoye Anthée) war ein flämischer Dichter und Groteskenschreiber. Van Ostaijens modernistisches Werk zeugt von einem eigenwilligen und vielformigen Expressionismus, beeinflusst vom …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Paul van Ostaijen — (Antwerp, February 22 1896 Miavoye Anthée, March 18 1928) was a Flemish poet and writer.His nickname was Mister 1830 , because of his habit of walking along the streets of Antwerp clothed as a dandy from that year.His poetry shows influences by… …   Wikipedia

  • Ostaijen — Paul van Ostaijen Paul van Ostaijen (* 22. Februar 1896 in Antwerpen; † 18. März 1928 in Miavoye Anthée) war ein flämischer Dichter und Groteskenschreiber. Van Ostaijens modernistisches Werk zeugt von einem eigenwilligen und vielformigen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Van Ostaijen — (Paul) (1896 1928) écrivain belge d expression néerlandaise, auteur de poèmes dadaïstes et de récits en prose anarchisants …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Paul Joostens — Traduction à relire Paul Joostens → Paul Joost …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ostaijen —   [ɔs taːjə], Paul André van, flämischer Schriftsteller, * Antwerpen 22. 2. 1896, ✝ Anthée (Provinz Namur) 17. 3. 1928; schrieb expressionistische Gedichte mit pazifistischer, nationalflämischer und humanistischer Grundhaltung. Ostaijens Schaffen …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Theo van Doesburg — as Sergeant Küpper. c 1915. Birth name Christian Emil Marie Küpper Born …   Wikipedia

  • Остайен, Пол ван — Пол ван Остайен Paul van Ostaijen Дата рождения …   Википедия

  • Belgian literature — Introduction  the body of written works produced by Belgians and written in Flemish, which is equivalent to the Standard Dutch (Dutch language) (Netherlandic) language of The Netherlands, and in Standard French (French language), which are the… …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.