Friedrich Nietzsche in Dutch-speaking Belgium during the Interwar Period: Odiel Spruytte and the Benefits of Micrological Reception Studies
Keywords:Friedrich Nietzsche, Belgium, België, Flanders, Vlaanderen, National-Socialism, Nationaal Socialisme, Conservative Catholicism, conservatief katholicisme
Reception studies tend to favour broad corpora and they have many reasons to do so. However, in some cases, it may be better to follow slowly, by means of close reading, the traces of an intensive reception over a certain period of time. An example of this is the case of the Flemish nationalist priest Odiel Spruytte, who was one of the most in-depth connoisseurs of Nietzsche in Dutch-speaking Belgium in the later interwar period. The analysis of the articles he published in the Flemish cultural-philosophical periodical Kultuurleven between 1934 and 1940, the time of his death, uncovers the subtle changes in Spruytte’s solid Nietzsche interpretations and allows us to discover the gradual rapprochement and alienation between conservative Catholic and national-socialist Nietzsche appropriations.