Articles

Mediating Medieval Mystical Literature in Interwar Belgium: The Histoire Croisée of Hadewijch’s ‘First Vision’ in the Periodical Hermès (1933–39)

Authors
  • Tijl Nuyts
  • Veerle Fraeters

Abstract

In a context in which various artistic groups resorted to periodicals to stage their public appearance, the editors of the Brussels-based magazine Hermès: Revue trimestrielle d'études mystiques et poétiques (1933–39) mobilized Middle Dutch mystical literature to carve out a space for themselves in the cultural scene of interwar Belgium. Drawing on methods and concepts of transfer studies and research into ethos construction, this article analyses the transfer strategies underpinning the publication of the French translation of the ‘First Vision’ of the Middle Dutch mystic Hadewijch (c. 1240), with which Hermès programmatically opened its inaugural volume. The analysis uncovers a complex histoire croisée which involved confrontations, both collaborative and conflictual, between Hermès and two very different groups of cultural actors: the circle of Brussels Surrealists, with whom the editors of Hermès shared a history, and the Catholic philologists of the Ruusbroecgenootschap [Ruusbroec Society], who equally sought to disseminate Middle Dutch mystical texts to a wider public, albeit with very different goals.

How to Cite:

Nuyts, T. & Fraeters, V., (2021) “Mediating Medieval Mystical Literature in Interwar Belgium: The Histoire Croisée of Hadewijch’s ‘First Vision’ in the Periodical Hermès (1933–39)”, Journal of European Periodical Studies 6(2), 88–108. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/jeps.v6i2.16155

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Published on
17 Dec 2021
Peer Reviewed