Between Jan van Leeuwen's joining the abbey of Groenendael in 1345 and his death in 1378, he wrote more than twenty works on mysticism and spiritual life. These works seem to have been meant primarily for his own community of lay brothers - he himself served as a cook - and perhaps for visiting lay people at Groenendael. As it appears from the (very few) studies on Van Leeuwen's oeuvre - of which little has yet been edited - a certain inability to adhere to the initial main structure of his argument seems to be a typical feature of his work. The article focusses on this aspect of Van Leeuwen's discourse in Vanden seven teekenen der sonnen ['On the seven signs of the sun'], of which the over all framework is (or should have been) based on the signs of the zodiac, but which Van Leeuwen never completed, precisely because - as is argued here - he lost sight of the initial structure. This problem with structure manifests itself not only on the level of the overall plan, but also on the level of discourse itself, which in its deviation from order and logic shows some resemblance to écriture féminine. It may be that the lack of a private space (a 'room of his own') and a lack of time, or similar circumstances related to his life as a cook, are the cause of the typically 'chaotic' character of his writing. We also consider the possibility that this feature has some connection with the oral and auditory requirements of the receptive situation. The author may have intended his work to be used in relatively short reading sessions; this would have led him to favour instruction, albeit disordered, in the short term, above clear structures in the long term which in any case, in this type of receptive situation, would have been lost from sight..
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