Cyriel (Cyrillus Gustave Emile) Buysse (1859-09-20 - 1932-07-25) was a Flemish naturalist author and playwright. He also wrote under following pseudonyms: Louis Bonheyden, Prosper Van Hove and Robert Palmer.
Cyriel Buysse was born on 1859-09-20 in Nevele, Belgium in a well-to-do family. Before he could complete his studies at the Atheneum in Ghent, he joined the family's chicory factory at his father's wish.
At the suggestion of his aunt Virginie Loveling, being herself an author, he started writing when he was twenty-six. When his father found out that he went out with a girl from the local bar, he had to leave his house. Between 1886 and 1896 he |emigrated to the United States several times, but he returned more disillusioned each time. The written account of his travels is known as Twee Herinneringen uit Amerika (Two memories from America), written in 1888.
He became known as a naturalist writer in the tradition of Stijn Streuvels, Emile Zola and Guy De Maupassant. Although he had been educated in French, which was not uncommon for sons of wealthy Flemings in that era, most of his work would be in Flemish. His writing was characterised by a deep sympathy for the common man, whose life he vividly and realistically describes.
In 1893 he co-edited the literary periodical Van Nu en Straks ((On Now and Soon) together with Prosper Van Langendonck, August Vermeylen en Emmanuel De Bom, but left soon afterwards following an argument. In the same year, he wrote his first novel Het recht van den sterkste (The Law of the Jungle).
He married the Dutch widow Nelly Dyserinck in 1896 and settled during the winter in The Hague in the Netherlands, where his son René Cyriel was born in 1897, while staying at his rural estate in Afnsee, Belgium during summer.
In 1903, he co-founded another literary magazine, Groot Nederland together with Louis Couperus en Willem Gerard van Nouhuys which he continued to edit until his death.
During the German occupation of Belgium in the first World War, he remained in the Netherlands. He became an active contributor to the newspaper De Vlaamsche Stem (The Flemisch Voice). In 1918, after the Armistice, he returned to Belgium where his talent was now widely recognized: he received the state prize for literature in 1921, and became a member of the Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie voor Taal- en Letterkunde (Royal Flemish Academy of Language and Literature) in 1930. In 1932 he was ennobled by King Albert I to the rank of baron which was then a rare honour for a writer, and sounded even ironic given the tone and subject of his books.
His naturalist play Het gezin van Paemel (1902) (The family van Paemel) is still being performed regularly. It has also been turned into a movie in 1986.
Cyriel Buysse died on 1932-07-25 in Afsnee, Belgium.