Het werk van een klerk. Een stylometrische verkenning van het auteurschap achter Der ystorien bloeme

Marjolein Hogenbirk, Mike Kestemont


Der ystorien bloeme is a rhymed Middle Dutch adaptation (ca. 1300?) of the Legenda aurea by Jacobus de Voragine. The anonymous author identifies himself as a ‘clerk’. The ystorien only survive in a single – possible incomplete – early fourteenth-century copy in the convoluted manuscript Leiden, University Library, Ltk. 191. The poet has been heavily criticized for his exceptionally bad writing style (e.g., many ad hoc innovations). Recent scholarship has stressed the text’s many stylistic similarities to the oeuvre of the well-known poet-priest Lodewijk van Velthem. In this paper we investigate whether Velthem should be identified as the author of Der ystorien bloeme. We describe a series of stylometric analyses using rhyme words, which offer quantitative arguments in favour of this attribution. Finally, we discuss additional arguments from traditional philology and we argue that Der ystorien bloeme could very well have been an early work of Velthem.

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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521