• Bart Moeyaert as Writer, Author, Performer, and Public Figure: "That's Also What Literature Can Be"

    Vanessa Joosen (see profile)
    Children's literature, Dutch literature, Young adult literature, Authorship, Personal narratives
    Item Type:
    Life writing
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    Though only in his mid-fifties, Bart Moeyaert began his writing career over forty years ago, when at age thirteen. In the course of almost four decades as a published author, Moeyaert’s views and writing practices have inevitably evolved. These developments can be attributed to personal experiences from living through adolescence, young adulthood, and middle age, which include his increased independence from his family, influential encounters, and the development of his career as an author and teacher. As a writer, he had the chance to experiment with new genres, topics, and writing styles, gradually growing into Belgium’s most acclaimed children’s author and gaining international fame. In this article, I highlight four crucial experiences that transformed Bart Moeyaert’s views on children’s literature and had an impact on his subsequent books: the influence of Aidan Chambers and his distinction between author and writer; the experience of writing primers with specific, target-audience restraints; the pleasure of performing for a dual audience; and his mandate as Antwerp’s city poet, which provoked a reflection on the writer as a public figure. What these experiences have in common is that they produced a tension between Moeyaert’s personal and artistic desires on the one hand and considerations for his readership and broader social needs on the other. As such, this article seeks to contribute to a better understanding of Moeyaert’s developing poetics and diverse oeuvre, and to consider how an author’s growing age and concomitant experiences can influence their views and work.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
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