Sea

What you imagine is my voice, that rustling and complaint that’s how you gainsay me, you who long for my silence. I saw, luxuriating, a sacred landscape, blessed even without your words, turned into myself. Your hunting adds nothing to me, you are nothing but your questions. No, it is quite different, even without you…

Cees Nooteboom as Nomadic Writer

For a British scholar to have produced a major monograph on a prominent, internationally known Dutch writer would be a coup in itself. However, Jane Fenoulhet’s ambitions extend much wider than the establishment of Cees Nooteboom’s ‘national canonical status’. (As is well known, until comparatively recently Nooteboom’s critical acceptance in the Low Countries lagged behind…

Cees Nooteboom

Cees Nooteboom (1933-) made his prose debut in 1955 with the novel Philip and the Others (Philip en de anderen), a poetic, melancholy account of an adolescent’s journey through France. It is a classic wanderer’s story about the search for one’s own identity, which places it in the tradition of works like Alain Fournier’s Le…

Visiting Professor

Let’s pretend for a moment that I’m not me; that has its uses on occasion. I’m going to pay myself a visit. My room number is up in the thousands, and to reach it I have to enter a Stalinist building with staircases, lifts and corridors. Behind every door people are in furious pursuit of…

The Captain of the Butterflies

Cees Nooteboom’s Poetry After the international success in English translation of Cees Nooteboom’s fiction — including Rituals (Rituelen, 1980), In the Dutch Mountains (In Nederland, 1984), A Song of Truth and Semblance (Een lied van schijn en wezen, 1981) and The Following Story (Het volgende verhaal, 1991) and travel writing (Roads to Santiago — De…