Woestijne, Karel van de (käˈrəl vän də vōˈstĪnə) [key], 1878–1929, Flemish symbolist poet and novelist. He also had some reputation as a painter. He worked for a time as journalist and from 1919 was professor of Dutch literature at the Univ. of Ghent. His early verse was semiautobiographical and explored themes of spiritual and sensual love. Such later works as De Modderen Man [the man of mud] (1920), also semiautobiographical, dealt with conflicting emotions and desires and with unrealized dreams. His prose tales were often based on legendary and biblical themes.