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…

The Low Countries on the Road

Travel Writing in Flanders and the Netherlands ‘Travel is my private form of reflection’, the author Cees Nooteboom once said. You are transported, carried along, and that gives you time in which to look around. And if you look carefully, you start thinking. Travel sharpens your gaze’. This pioneer of Dutch travel writing breathed new…

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…

Postmodernism in the Literature of the Low Countries

The Dutch language area, like the rest of Europe, did not see the term postmodernism come into use until the early 1980s. The interest generated by this new ‘concept of criticism’ soon gave rise to a welter of publications, all more or less inspired by Jean-Francois Lyotard’s philosophical essay, The Postmodern Condition (La condition postmoderne,…