Original Research

‘De Regenkoning’ van Hugo Claus

S. W. van Zuydam
Literator | Vol 7, No 1 | a872 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v7i1.872 | © 1986 S. W. van Zuydam | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 May 1986 | Published: 07 May 1986

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S. W. van Zuydam,, South Africa

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The investigation in this article comprises the analysis of a poem by the Flemish author Hugo Claus, namely "De regenkoning". It is one of the poems in a sequence entitled "De ingewijde" (The initiated) which forms part of his volume of poetry "De Oostakkerse Gedichten” (1955). These poems are extremely esoteric and an attempt is made here to “decode” the "hidden mysteries” in this particular poem. Claus’ method of using a kind of secret language corresponds to a basic feature of (universal) initiation ceremonies, namely that everything that takes place is shrouded in secrecy. It was found that the nucleus of traditional initiations, namely sexual and mental maturation, likewise form a fundamental characteristic in Claus’ poem. Yet his "neophyte” is not (re)born into a "new” (sacred) world, but initiated into the broken (profane) realities of modern society.


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