Slauerhoff &c.

Reading matter: the new issue of De Gids, devoted to the Dutch writer/poet JJ Slauerhoff, who at the moment is probably best known for writing a bunch of poems (in the 1920s/30s) that were set to music by the popular Portugese singer Christina Branco – because she regarder them as a prime example of saudade. (The introduction mentions the popularity of Slauerhoff amongst punks in the 1980s, and the existence of a Dutch 1980s band ‘Slauerhoff, but strangely does not mention Christina Branco).

Many people read Slauerhoff early in their ‘literary reading career’. So did I. He has a romantic ‘image’ – travelled to and wrote a lot about China, identified more or less with Camoens. His Collected Prose amongst the first literary books I bought. This issue presents a very nice opportunity to dive into his work again.

And then I couldn’t resist buying the Raster (another literary magazine), because it’s about two German writers that I have never really read, two famous outsiders: Andreas Kluge and Wolfgang Koeppen. Kluge never appealed to me, not his movies, not his television-programs (very intellectually left-wing political, strangely enough transmitted by the commercial channel RTL in the nineties), not his theoretical work. Though I know people who are absolutely ‘fans’, and he is detected by my ‘radar’. Koeppen I simply never read until today, I guess because Arno Schmidt and Uwe Johnson were ‘higher’ on my list.

More reading matter: Mark Twain’s entertaining A Connecticut Yankee at King Arthur’s Court, and LP Boons pitch black Memoires van de Heer Daegeman – both cheaply acquired at the Queens Day freemarket. I was wondering if I might have read Twain’s book in a children’s version as a child, it seemed all so familiar…

en | May 2, 2008 | 22:56 | Comments Off on Slauerhoff &c. |


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