De avonturen van een kostschoolmeisje | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X



While Hugo Claus’s oeuvre has been studied abundantly (and fruitfully) from the perspective of erudite intertextuality, the rewriting of popular narrative culture in his novels has been neglected. This one-sided focus has clouded the protean nature of Claus’s texts, in which high and low, literate and vulgar coexist. By means of a case-study on the experimental novel (1971), this article demonstrates the significance of popular narrative culture for the understanding of Claus’s oeuvre. caused a lot of interpretative difficulties for contemporary literary critics, who dismissed it as a senseless ‘curiosity cabinet’; the novel has been overlooked ever since. By introducing reading keys which take Claus’s rewriting of literary as well as popular genres into account, it is however possible to shed light on this volatile publication. The approach is twofold: the first reading key is provided by the popular genre of the girl’s book, the second is related to the rewriting of markedly literary genres. This combination of reading perspectives enables a meaningful interpretation of the work; at the same time, it reveals ’s opposition to unambiguous reading schemes. By doing so, the analysis provides new poetical and interpretative tools to study the author’s novelistic oeuvre.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): experimental fiction; girl’s book; mystification; rewriting
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