Aux confins du fantastique et du réel, le légendaire plus que l’historique

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Marc Quaghbeur

Abstrakt

Taking as its starting point two crucial moments of the Belgian history – the events that took place in 16th (the reign of Charles V and afterwards) and in 19th centuries (from the Battle of Waterloo until the Belgian Revolution in 1830) – the paper demonstrates how non-French literature written in French was born in a country where this language actually came into being, but which, nevertheless, never came as far as to acquire the status of a nation state. Belgian literature in French never became able to convey either the History, or its relationship to the world or its identity in accordance with French interpretative models and French narrative standards. The paper sheds a light on how, in 19th and 20th centuries, European historical events – esp. the two wars – affected slight details of the initial pattern, but failed to contest successfully both the reluctance to see the History as a device to grasp the Sense and the preference for privileging the fabled, the legendary and the fictitious at the expense of factual realism.

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