Articles tagged "Dutch"


On Tao Qian

Tao Qian on Tao Qian: He likes to read and is satisfied with the most simple of explanations. When he understands what something means, he is so happy he forgets to eat. Su Dongpo on Tao Qian: He writes…...

Du Fu

Du Fu says of himself that he was a child prodigy, that he was writing poetry when he was seven or eight years old. When he’s over forty, he will be a great poet. What he can think about, he can…...

Su Dongpo and the Trick he says he Learned from Tao Qian

The simplest way to find tranquility: keep starting over in a different way. He knows nothing about those who find tranquility, free from what surrounds them; he’s never met anyone like that. Let’s…...

Literature as Social Experiment

A literary magazine in Romania published my nonfiction story about a group of American men who traveled to Ukraine in the hopes of finding a bride, or sex, or a combination of both. The tour was organized…...

CLMP Spelling Bee

My agent sent me an invitation to a fundraiser. I was in town, so I had no excuse not to go. Besides that, I'm in generally in favor of fundraisers. I would happily go to a fundraiser in support of…...

The Author’s Voice and the Translator’s

Recently, I traveled to Paris to assist my publisher there with the promotion of one of my novels that had been translated into French. Any excuse to visit Paris is a good excuse. It's easy to forget…...

The Task of the Novelist at the University

Like last year, I am going to teach two courses in the Netherlands this fall. One course is on two books by Coetzee, at the University of Leiden, and one is on genetic modification from a literary point…...

Summer Jobs in Europe

Since 2007, I have been doing ísummer jobsë every year. The purpose of a summer job is to earn money, obviously, but the purpose of my summer jobs has been to write about my experiences. I…...

Embedded in Dutch Suburbia

Suburbia is a mythical place. At least, it is if you believe quite a few novels, ranging from Updike's Couples to Yates' Revolutionary Road. And one could argue that Madame Bovary takes place in a village…...

The Fantasy and the Far-Out

Why do people want to listen to an author when they have their books? From time to time, I'm plagued by this question. The last week of May, the Third International Forum on the Novel took place in the…...

The Way You Speak about a Cold

Moldova is a forgotten country. Even in Europe, many people hardly know of its existence. Forgotten countries are often poor, and this is also the case with Moldova. It's one of the poorest countries in…...

Reading Daniel Kehlmann

Daniel Kehlmann (born in 1975) is the star of German literature. His historical novel Die Vermessung der Welt (published in the US by Vintage as Measuring the World) sold more than 1.4 million copies in…...

Letter from Iraq

The young captain sat on his bed and sighed. íThere are not too many people around here I can talk with,ë he said. íAll the young guys talk about is women and fighting.ë This is…...

Book World

Recently I had lunch with a friend of mine in Manhattan. We had not even finished our sandwiches when my friend received her first text message. Usually I find it annoying when somebody starts reading…...

Everything for Literature

There is a myth that journalistic endeavors interfere with the true vocation of a novelist: writing novels. I find that the opposite is true. My journalistic excursions have, if anything, enhanced my work…...

My Book Party in Eupen

In September my new novel was published in the Netherlands. The book launch seems to have become an inevitable part of the publication of a new book, at least in the Netherlands. A publisher in the U.S.…...

Truth and War Literature

As of Monday September 8, I've been teaching at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands. Not forever, thank God, just for one semester. One course that I'm teaching side-by-side with a philosopher…...

Reading Gregor von Rezzori

A Dutch newspaper asked me to review the recently published Dutch translation of Gregor von Rezzori's Memoirs of an Anti-Semite. I have to admit that the name Rezzori vaguely rang a bell, but that was…...

Writing the Train in Switzerland

Last summer, I worked for almost three weeks as a chambermaid in a family hotel in the southern part of Bavaria. I wrote about this experience in a daily column for a Dutch newspaper. Later, an extract…...

The Future of Literature

Two days after I left Iraq, I traveled to a small resort at the Black Sea for a writer's conference about the future of literature. For some reason it seemed to me the right sequence: first Baghdad and…...

The Background Noise in Iraq

Last week I was embedded with the 25th infantry division north of Baghdad in the so-called Sunni Triangle. Presently I'm in the Green Zone. A friend of mine in New York asked me to pay attention to the…...

Dutch Translation Workshops in Italy

For the last 10 days I have been touring through Italy giving workshops at universities where Dutch is being taught. I was surprised to hear that there are five Italian cities where you can study Dutch:…...

Pints with Roddy Doyle

The first time that I drank Guinness was also the first time that I met Roddy Doyle. It was the winter of 1997. My Dutch publisher and I had decided to meet in Dublin, which is halfway between New York…...

Preparations for a Close Escape

In preparation for my trip to Iraq in May, I have now met with two war correspondents. One of them is an American. We met in a bar in Brooklyn. The other is a Dutch war correspondent with whom I had dinner…...

The Literature of the Future

A couple of weeks ago on a cold night I walked to the Mercantile Library—for the first time in all these years that I have been living in Manhattan I have to admit—to listen to a discussion about…...

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