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The King is Dead, Long Live the King. The Uses of Reality in the Prose of Walter van den Broeck
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The King is Dead, Long Live the King. The Uses of Reality in the Prose of Walter van den Broeck

(Marc Reynebeau) The Low Countries - 1997, № 5, pp. 84-89

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When Baudouin, King of the Belgians died suddenly on 31 July 1993, the media released a deluge of mournful prose, much of it maudlin kitsch, on their shattered readers. The writer Walter van den Broeck also reached for his pen, for if so much paper was to be expended on the king's death, then obviously literature too should have its say on the matter. And certainly Van den Broeck was in the ideal position for this. The character of the king had been a central motif in his writing since 1980, both in the novel ‘Letter to Baudouin and in the four volumes of ‘The Siege of Laken'. He shows in these books that all reality is a construct. (with a translated extract of 'Letter to Baudouin' by Walter van den Broeck)

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