Ostaijen, Paul van

BORN 22 Feb 1896, Antwerpen - DIED 18 Mar 1928, Miavoye-Anthée: sanatorium
CAUSE OF DEATH tuberculosis
GRAVE LOCATION Antwerpen: Schoonselhof, Sint-Bernardsesteenweg, Hoboken (perk N, graf 41 (erekerkhof))

Paul van Ostaijen was born in Antwerp, where he started working at the city hall in 1914. One montj later he published his first article in the Flemish publication "Carolus". He learned English and German and he befriended Peter Baeyens, who published his articles and introduced night bars and cocaine to him. He was known in Antwerp as Mister 1830 in those days because he dressed as a dandy in the style of the 1830s.

After the war ended his activism for Flemish independence forced him to leave the country. He went to Berlin, where he worked as a bookseller and a shoe seller to make a living. In Berlin he was intorduced to dadaism and he his own work was important for the introduction of expressionism into the Dutch language. In 1921 he returned to Belgium, where he was pardoned.

Between 1923 and 1927 he worked for several publications. In 1927 his health started to decline. By the time he wanted to resume his old job at the city hall in Antwerp he was forced to retreat to the country because he suffered from tuberculosis. He published a few more poems and on 17 Mar 1927 he wrote to Oscar Jespers that he would return to Antwerp, but he died the following day.

He was buried at the cemetery of Anthée. On 19 Mar 1932 his remains were transferred to the Schoonselfhof in Antwerp. There he was moved to the honorary section on 8 Nov 1972.

Related persons
• knew Gijsen, Marnix
• cooperated with Mont, Pol de


The grave of Paul van Ostaijen at the Schoonselhof, Antwerpen.
Picture by Androom (27 Jul 2002)


• Heessen, Hans, Harry Jansen & Ed Schilders, Waar ligt Poot?, De Prom, Baarn, 1997
• Reeth, Adelaïde van & Guido Peeters, Herinneringen in Steen, De Haan/Unieboek, Houten, 1988
De Volkskrant
Paul van Ostaijen - Wikipedia

Osten, Eva von der

Published: 25 Dec 2009
Last update: 02 May 2022