Variaties op een genre | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1384-5829
  • E-ISSN: 2352-118X



This article presents alternative forms of life description by means of a biography in progress on the Flemish author August Vermeylen (1872-1945). The first form, the ‘turning point biography’ or ‘hapax biography’, avoids too conventional forms of biography by breaking up the traditional linearity and chronological presentation of life facts. One crucial year (here 1939) in the life of the author serves as the starting point. The second form, the ‘institutional generational biography’ intercepts the traditional objection to biographies that their particularity would prevent them from giving a general view on the period described. Thus, Vermeylen’s activities in several associations receive ample treatment. A third pitfall of the traditional biography is her constructive and manipulative character due to the narrative form. This I try to avoid by writing a ‘correspondance biography’ or ‘super individualistic biography’, in which micronarrative resist to all forms of totalizing. This biography on Vermeylen in the first place gives the floor to the women in his life.


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