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Camille Lemonnier

Writer (1844-1913).Camille Lemonnier was born in Ixelles (a suburb of Brussels). After studying Law at university and an unhappy period as a civil servant, he moved to the countryside near Namur and became a full-time art critic and writer. Following the success of Salon de Bruxelles , a collection of art criticism in 1863, he went on to write novels which describe Belgian peasant life, including Nos Flamands (1869), Croquis d'automne (1870), Un Coin de village (1879) and Le Mon (1882). The rejection by the jury for a literary prize in 1883 of his novel Un Mâle (which describes the love life of a poacher in the forest) led to his being fêted by the avant-garde. His later novels are closer to the literary trends in France of the time and include L'Hystérique (1885), Happe-chair (1886), L'Homme en amour (1897) and Comme va le ruisseau (1903). His anti-establishment credentials were reinforced by unsuccessful prosecutions for offending public morals in France and Belgium. Lemmonier’s style is rather sonorous and full of strange metaphors, but he is a key figure in the development of Belgian literature. Many streets and squares, and a Brussels metro station, are named after him.

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