Ghent-Wevelgem

If I could start again, I’d do things just as I did: not for a few quid, but for that new racing strip. That gleams and hugs your buttocks and those of your team mates in the peloton. I’d like to train till I die, trailing the other guy a fraction, I’d always bring up…

Twelve Languages, Thirteen Perspectives

In general I am, I’m pretty sure, a privileged if still very limited witness, having been a part-time inhabitant of the Cape for nearly twenty years and remained the most passionate of lovers, for just as long, of the whole blessed glorious pandemonium there on the underside of what we so often call, both properly and improperly, ‘the Dark…

Robbed by a Cheque

In January 1991, Willy Claes, the Belgian Minister of Economic Affairs, approved ‘cheque charges’: users would from then on have to pay for writing out a cheque. In his weekly column in Humo, a Flemish weekly (which invariably ended with the mantra ‘Do it!’), the writer took up arms against the banks. It was the…

Two Extracts

Extract from Everything Must Go In the meantime trucks were speeding past Tony, loudly honking their horns, flashing their headlights and throwing up a curtain of water, which the Transit had to drive through as if it were a waterfall. Just let my windscreen wiper keep working, thought Tony anxiously. The other one had given…

Tom Lanoye, Literary Multinational

Story-writer, novelist, playwright, translator, columnist, pamphleteer and performer, Tom Lanoye (1958-) is a versatile and much talked-about author. During the course of his twenty-year career, he has become an authority in various literary disciplines, but he has also shown himself to be a shrewd commentator on social matters that extend far beyond the realms of literature.…