Alexia Lagast studied English and Dutch literature at the University of Antwerp, and wrote her master’s thesis on the lost Madoc (read the resulting article). She then completed the research master Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Leuven, with a thesis on the legendary Prester John in Middle Dutch travel narratives. Currently, she is preparing a doctoral thesis on the report of the four-year journey to the Levant made by Joos van Ghistele at the end of the fifteenth century. Her comparative research focuses on the literary techniques that were used to increase the narrative’s credibility, and on the characteristics that set it apart from its prominent contemporaries Felix Fabri, Bernhard von Breydenbach, Georges Lengherand and Anselm Adorno.
Literary strategies for credibility in the early modern travel narrative Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele
This comparative research contrasts the vernacular report of Ghent nobleman Joos van Ghistele’s (†1516) four-year expedition to the Levant (1481-1485) with other early modern travel narratives, principally those of Felix Fabri, Bernhard von Breydenbach, Georges Lengherand and Anselm Adorno. The focus is on the compilation of the text by the unknown but unmistakeably very learned Ambrosius Zeebout, who did not take part in the journey. He based his narrative on the travel notes made by chaplain Jan van Quisthout who accompanied Van Ghistele to the Levant, and he further completed them with material from more than 60 written sources, most of which Latin. His 400 folio narrative was completed ca. 1491 and textual testimony corroborates that it circulated widely. When the narrative was printed in 1557 it was given the title by which it is known today: Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele.
Read about Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele in Alexia Lagast’s recent article “Omitted in manuscript, praised in print: nameless noblemen in the Middle Dutch travel narrative Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele (ca. 1491)”.
Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele
Access the 1998 edition of Tvoyage van Mher Joos van Ghistele by Renaat Gaspar via De Digitale Bibliotheek voor de Nederlandse Letteren.
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