The Everyday is Good

The Novels of Koen Peeters Conversaties met K. (Conversations with K., 1988), the first novel of Koen Peeters (1959), sports a stamp from the Belgian Congo on its cover. Almost a quarter of a century later the Leuven author published Duizend heuvels (A Thousand Hills, 2012), his great novel about the small neighbouring country of…

From the Message to the Medium

The Poetic Evolution of Paul van Ostaijen Along with the disruption of the values and of the very image of the Western world by philosophy, psychology, ethnography, the exact sciences, industrial development and the resulting political-social crises, the years 1910-1920 saw the birth of a vast movement that injected new life into the arts and…

Annunciation

When her flesh felt the touch of language, of the fingers of the Holy Ghost, a spasm shot right through her body and the angel left her utterly alone, She started to stroke herself gently, she was little, fragile and inside she carried the diamond-hard stuff that was to harrow and sever her. ‘Oh, let…

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…

Writer in the Public Debate

On Stefan Hertmans Since he was first profiled in this yearbook (The Low Countries 1998-1999), the Flemish-Belgian writer Stefan Hertmans (born 1951) has developed significantly as an artist. Hertmans started out as a poet but came to the attention of the general public primarily as a novelist, with books such as Terug naar Merelbeke (Back…