Fairy Tales/literature

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Fairy Tales/literature

Post by Kettler » Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:32 am

Can you tell me what (Flemish)fairy tales almost all little children in Flanders read? Can you also tell me what works of Flemish literature all high school students in Flanders must read?

Thank you

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Re: Fairy Tales/literature

Post by Bieneke » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:46 pm

Since I did not grow up in Flanders, I cannot tell for sure which fairy tales Flemish children grow up with, but I think the fairy tales of Hans Andersen and the Grimm brothers are very popular in Flanders. A popular folkloristic, Flemish legend is Tijl Uilenspiegel.

On http://www.volksverhalenbank.be/, you can find a lot of Flemish, folkloristic tales. I think that Flemish children are, however, more familiar with Andersen's and Grimm's fairy tales than with most of the old Flemish tales.

Regarding your question about high school literature: I did not attend high school in Flanders (perhaps a Flemish member can help us here?). I went to school in Amsterdam and I remember that I had to read books by/learn about the Flemish authors Hugo Claus, Willem Elsschot, Guido Gezelle, Marnix Gijsen, Jos Vandeloo, and Paul Van Ostaijen. This list is definitely not exhaustive.

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Re: Fairy Tales/literature

Post by Quetzal » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:25 pm

I'm fairly sure there's no such thing as a work of literature that all HS students read - it's up to the teachers of Dutch to decide what to make their students read. In my own HS, our teacher made us read many poems (ranging from the Middle Ages to now) as well as fragments of a number of Middle-Dutch texts (Grail stories, among other things), but rather few entire books. As far as I can remember, those few books that we did read were mostly by Dutch authors (and one translation from American author Carson McCullers), with two exceptions. One was "De Trein der Traagheid" by Johan Daisne, the other "Elias of het gevecht met de nachtegalen" by Maurice Gilliams. Both novels of a certain reputation in literary circles, but I suspect the vast majority of Flemish HS students has never heard of them.

I think Bieneke named most of the big names in Flemish literature though (note that Gezelle and Van Ostaijen are poets, not prose authors, and Claus is famous for both his poetry and his prose). I would add Louis Paul Boon, Felix Timmermans, Stijn Streuvels and Gerald Walschap for somewhat older literature, and Kristien Hemmerechts and Tom Lanoye (highly recommended) as the most notable contemporary authors.

Lastly, there is the book "De Leeuw van Vlaanderen" (The Lion of Flanders) by Hendrik Conscience, which is credited for inspiring Flemish-nationalism back in the 19th century by giving a legendary, heroic and historically unreliable account of the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Again I'd have to say I doubt that too many Flemish students have actually read the book, but it's famous.

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Re: Fairy Tales/literature

Post by dirkmath » Wed Sep 03, 2008 10:11 pm

At this moment the books of Marc De Bel are very popular
(http://www.marcdebel.be - http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marc_De_Bel).
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