Hugo Claus als meervoud. Pleidooi voor een wetenschappelijke documentaire varianteneditie van Claus’ verzamelde poëzie

  • Y T’Sjoen
Keywords: textual scholarship, textual variants, Flemish poetry, Hugo Claus


The selection of a base text for textual edition is not only a matter of literary-historical data or a consideration based on the genetic process or the publishing history of a work of art. Also the poetics or aesthetics of the editor are in some cases decisive for that (final/fundamental) choice. Depending on the poetical ideas of an editor one or another authorized text is chosen for the final edition. In that way the editor’s choice determines the image of a literary work for a cultural community and does so for several years, if not for ever. In some cases we deal with a variety of text versions in a literary archive. Each of these texts is written from an aesthetic point of view and represents a stage in the development of an author. From that perspective it is not only relevant but also necessary to present all full text versions and for instance not only the variants in a specific apparatus. For my article I want to consider the collected poems by Hugo Claus (1929–2008). Four years after his death it becomes necessary to discuss the way in which scientific editors will present the collected works of the Flemish author. I want to suggest an edition with all complete versions of the poems. Claus was a legendary re-writer of his own (and even other’s) literary texts. For instance, when he presented a new collection of his poems in the sixties and the nineties, he worked on a different version. From this point of view, each version represents another or a slightly different poetical vision by the author. The digital medium can provide an environment to present all full text (versions). Also in a published edition I would like to consider a publication of all different versions. Perhaps we have to make a difference between a scholarly edition, intended for researchers who work on the complete works by Claus, and an edition for an interested public (of non-scholars). Although these readers also deserve a complete works by Claus, including all versions of texts Claus worked on during different periods in his writing career.

Keywords: textual scholarship, textual variants, Flemish poetry, Hugo Claus.

Article text in Dutch


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2309-9070
print ISSN: 0041-476X