"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "The Netherlands"
Boy wanderer

Boy wanderer

One of the most intense pleasures that can overcome any translator is the joy you feel when you take a book you’ve been hungering after for decades and run it through the mill of your imagination. That was my good fortune with The Evenings by Gerard Reve. Written back in 1947 and first published in...
Message in two suitcases

Message in two suitcases

There is an old Urdu/Hindi word that would suit well this explosively funny, irresistible, and profoundly tragic human comedy: lifafa/lifaafaa, a term that can mean a bag, an envelope, a wrapper or a cover, anything frail, or an outward show. Mama Tandoori is all of these and indeed much more, a surging personal narrative and...
Catching the past

Catching the past

In 2014, Otto de Kat wrote a short essay for PEN, where he gives a poetic yet also practical definition of the art and skill of writing historical fiction, of crafting novels whose life must be fictional, and yet feistily rooted in factual reality. This genre has been his own home since 1998, when he...
Apocalypse never

Apocalypse never

In his Brief Theory of Travel and the Desert, skilfully translated with grit and brio by Jacqueline Minett, Cristian Crusat orchestrates a syncopated arrangement of six stories suspended in time and space, relating the experience of being and non-being through stunted snapshots from the lives of disparate, seemingly ordinary and inconsequential characters. Their insignificance, we...
Searching for angels

Searching for angels

Landing by Laia Fàbregas is a rare find – a narrative of worlds lost and found, of words that are vital and impossible to translate, of human communion, and communication that must be retrieved in its utmost simplicity from the plexus of relentless alienation and multi-layered facelessness that characterises the aftermath of our post-modernity. Above...
Reading Europe

Reading Europe

Now in its eighth year, European Literature Night (ELN) returns with an expanded programme under the banner of the newly inaugurated European Literature Festival. Presented by EUNIC London, ELF is a six-week celebration of literature from across the continent, with more than 60 writers and poets from over 30 countries involved in events and projects from 27...
Peter Buwalda: Expect fireworks

Peter Buwalda: Expect fireworks

It’s often assumed that first-time novelists only write about what they know. Ahead of meeting Peter Buwalda I try to dismiss any notion of encountering a judo blackbelt, mathematical genius and jazz buff with paranoia and jealousy issues, a murderous streak and an internet porn habit, as might be inferred from the characters he portrays...
Hailstorm

Hailstorm

Siem Sigerius is a maths professor who delights in putting his students straight about coincidence theory. When he sees an image that might depict his adopted daughter on an erotic website, he has to weigh up the probability that she and her photographer boyfriend have started a sideline in porn… The tepid downpour shades the...