Writing when Young: Bart Moeyaert as a Young Adult Author
Keywords:young author, adolescent literature, genetic studies, age studies
Duet met valse noten (1983) started as a diary when Bart Moeyaert was twelve years old. After it was disclosed by an older brother, Moeyaert rewrote it during his teenage years as a novel about first love. This article studies the genesis and early reception of Moeyaert’s novel to reflect on young authors who fictionalize real-life experiences and desires. On the one hand, they are credited for being experts on youth and said to have a particular appeal to young audiences for that reason. On the other hand, when texts by young authors are published, they are often edited and mediated by adult professionals. For some scholars, such adult intervention compromises the authenticity of the young author’s voice, while others argue that having your work revised is an inherent part of being published. The genesis of Duet met valse noten displays a complex interaction involving several actors, including young voices. The deletion of controversial passages (a toilet scene, the longing for cigarettes and sexual scenes) illustrates this complexity: the decision to adapt them was only in part governed by adults, and while the young Moeyaert was dissatisfied with some revisions, they also contributed to his aesthetics as a poetic rather than explicit writer.
Copyright (c) 2021 Vanessa Joosen
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.