About the editors
Veerle Fraeters (*1963) is director of the Ruusbroec Institute and is a lecturer in Middle Dutch literature at the University of Antwerp.
Frank Willaert (*1952) is a lecturer in older Dutch literature at the University of Antwerp.
Louis Peter Grijp (1954-2016), renowned researcher at Amsterdam’s Meertens Institute of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, was at the same time lecturer in Dutch song culture (ancient and modern) at the University of Utrecht.
isbn 978 90 6554 4780
3000 copies sold
For more information, please contact Patrick Everard
Mystical Love Songs
Hadewijch of Antwerp (thirteenth century) is the first woman in Europe to have dared to sing of mystical love in pure love poetry. Hadewijch is a passionate and uncompromising poet, whose poetry is complex, sensitive and ingenious, and whose songs are direct and intense. In her courtly love lyrics she sings of love and despair, of terrible desolation and the longing for union. For the reader and listener, her passion is almost palpable.
This magnificent edition of her Songs, which forms the first part of Hadewijch’s Collected works, is based on the oldest manuscript known to us. The editors, Frank Willaert and Veerle Fraeters, have provided an exact reproduction of the original Middle Dutch text along with their expert translation. Thanks to an exemplary introduction, an erudite, sensitive and insightful commentary, the world and the passions of Hadewijch are made immediately accessible to the modern reader.
With unparalleled skill, Louis Peter Grijp has reconstructed melodies to which Hadewijch wrote her mystical love songs. The melodies are precisely rendered with their musical scores, and can be listened to by using the four enclosed CDs. All the songs are in the original language of Hadewijch and are either recited or sung by professional vocalists.
Hadewijch is the beating heart of the pantheon of Dutch literature, she leads the canon of the Dutch classics and occupies a high seat in the throne room of religious courtly love poetry. This collection of her Songs is a monumental edition of a unique and classic mystical text, which reveals the spiritual and sensory world of a passionate woman.
In Hadewijch’s poetry we see the culmination of a prismatic European culture, in which the regional cultures move about freely like travelling concepts, thus influencing, accommodating and changing each other, until a particular truth of feeling and expression is rediscovered.
"In the landscape of late medieval mysticism, Hadewijch stands apart as a compellingly difficult yet sovereign figure. This publication of the Liederen – an imposing compendium of some of the most moving mystical lyrics of the Middle Ages – makes Hadewijch accessible not only to scholars of religion, literature and musicology but also to a wider lay public as well, above all, through the animation of the accompanying audio recordings. Beautifully presented, the book represents a remarkable accomplishment." — Hildegard Elisabeth Keller, Professor of Germanic Studies, Indiana University at Bloomington and Titularprofessorin of Medieval German Literature at the University of Zürich
"Hadewijch of Antwerp is among the most remarkable mystics of the Middle Ages, not only for the profundity of her teaching, but also because of her virtuosity and range as a writer both in prose and in poetry. Her Liederen are among the high points of mystical poetry, comparable to the poems of John of the Cross. This new edition of these moving courtly lyrics makes the music for many of them available for the first time. Hadewijch's Liederen is a major contribution to the literature of mysticism." — Bernard McGinn, Naomi Shenstone Donnelley Professor Emeritus of Historical Theology and of the History of Christianity in the Divinity School and the Committees on Medieval Studies and on General Studies, University of Chicago
"Modern criticism has reduced performance to a theoretical category that often has little to do with the actual aural experience of literature that was meant to provide a feast for the senses, above all the ear. This book and the accompanying recordings lend voice to Hadewijch's visionary poetry in ways that will enchant listeners of all stripes, whether scholars or simply lovers of medieval literature." — Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Kuno Francke Professor of German Art & Culture, Harvard University