From Writer at his Own Expense to Public Phenomenon

On the Work of J.J. Voskuil It was front-page news on 26 May 1998. ‘J.J. Voskuil wins Libris Prize’ read the headline in the NRC Handelsblad, a much respected Dutch newspaper. The writer J.J. Voskuil had been named as winner of an important literary prize sponsored by a Dutch bookstore chain. A photo shows the…

‘An order, within which there’s room for chaos’

The Poetry of M. Vasalis ‘Do not be misled by what you see on the surface; deep down everything has a meaning.’ Rainer Maria Rilke The poetic oeuvre of M. Vasalis (1909-) is admittedly modest in size (only around 100 poems in total, spread over three collections), but her poetry has nonetheless acquired a position…

A Convenient Desert

The Low Countries as a Refuge for the Spirit René Descartes first arrived in the Netherlands in 1618. An officer in the young Republic’s army, which was more or less idle because of the Twelve Years’ Truce, he stayed in Breda for about a year. Subsequently he spent a few years travelling round Central Europe…