Universiteit Gent, Vakgroep Letterkunde, Blandijnberg 2, B-9000 Gent, België, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
The present article demonstrates that Jan van Leeuwen’s writings were distributed outside the Groenendaal cloister in two separate movements, or ‘editions’, which profiled the author in different ways. The first edition, completed around 1355, contains five of Van Leeuwen’s already completed treatises. Witnesses of this edition include ms Deventer (1425; containing only one treatise) and ms Pommersfelden (1459; five treatises). Around 1400, a second edition was compiled, including further treatises selected from the master copy that was preserved at Groenendaal. This later edition is made up of the five treatises already found in the first edition, together with four others. Those nine writings were revised by the addition of chapter numbers and chapter titles, and/or by the deletion and rephrasing of certain passages. In the 1930s and 1940s, scholars stressed the importance of ms Pommersfelden as offering insight into Jan van Leeuwen’s opera omnia, as it is the only complete witness of the first edition. However, the present article argues that although ms Pommersfelden contains passages which are not preserved in the Middle Dutch manuscripts – all of which are witnesses of the second edition – ms Pommersfelden cannot necessarily be considered as being closer to Jan van Leeuwen’s autograph than the witnesses of the second edition. The translator of the texts in ms Pommersfelden, a lay brother from the Low Countries, not only rendered the Middle Dutch text in a dialect resembling High German, but also deleted and adapted passages. That said, ms Pommersfelden remains an intriguing source, offering insight into the preparation and dissemination of the works of Jan van Leeuwen.
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