30 article(s) translated from 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…...

Dummy Run

He liked his supper at six. To come home from the office, briefly look at the newspaper and then find his meal on the table, that was the way he liked it. When they were just married, Margaret had fitted…...

Let Us Talk

First, we will bury you in the sand, with your head free to speak about mutual understanding, about peace;   first, we will make your field our own, station soldiers between mine and thine, direct…...

Room

In that town there was a room I kept circling. It was near my girlfriend’s. She didn’t know I sometimes climbed those stairs. On the wall there were photos from before the war. I talked to…...

A Journey to Spitsbergen

I On the flight from Oslo to Tromsø, two worlds: the land far below me, the map on my lap. Outside, the sun is setting. The clouds hanging over the land on my map have been painted by Max Ernst,…...

Counterpoint

Aria The woman with the pencil leaned over the table to read a pocket score of the Goldberg Variations. The pencil was made of special black wood. It had a heavy silver cap that concealed a pencil sharpener.…...

Three Fables

1 The Tiny Bones She wrote the perfect sentence. It was not crafted; it tumbled freely from the heavens, straight into her head. She didn't do anything. She just sat. And there it was, then, fully…...

“Arnold . . . !”

She's wondering how to tell his children when an immense silence numbs her. It's as if her thoughts can no longer be captured in words, as if words are refusing service. The briefcase sits in the…...

from “Comfort”

A two-star colleague had helped me import a rye from a small French village with the rather apt name of Pont-Saint-Esprit. Because opium had been banned under the Opium Act in 1928 and no other hard…...

from “Friends for Four Years”

The bunker, located in a quiet, remote corner of the dunes, was surrounded by a low, thorny shrub that kept other beachgoers at arm's length, along with their economy-size cookie wrappers, empty liter…...

The East

The high school was a large red-brick colonial building on a hill covered in scrawny pine trees at the edge of Bukavu. There were better schools in town, but you had to take an entrance exam and Elias…...

Song

I saw a shop went in and bought something I had forgotten I already had. I stood in the shop and there was nothing else I could remember that I needed. But what do I do with two of them except wait for…...

Quiet

Quiet, you say.      I hardly hear you. You're already that far.      Don't leave me behind like this. I stop talking.      Immediately…...

from “May the Sun Shine Tomorrow”

1 Malik Ben weighed 300 pounds on the day he decided to have his name removed from the Yellow Pages. Lugging all that weight around day after day had gotten to be a chore, which is what prompted his second…...

Shreds

I was born in Surinam in the district of Commewijne. Some of the plantations in that fertile, once-wealthy district had meaningful names: Mon Souci, Mon Trésor, Peace and Delight, Mutual Care. I…...

Paravion

Listen. What sounds like a call for silence-shhh!-is really the sound of the wind in the trees, a rumor whispered through the leaves by many tongues. And could that chirping of invisible birds be gossip?…...

from The Asylum Seeker

One evening, after weeks of something like forty jars of vitamins and dozens of liters of strawberry juice, the Bird asks: "Would you mind if I got married?" In that marrying, Beck sees his enemy's…...

Eagles

One stands on the mountains of my country as if on a grave. An abandoned grave; no one knows who lies buried there. During the winter nothing is visible. In spring when the snow has melted, the graves…...

“Nowhere has denying”

Nowhere has denying reigned as rife as in this not which is outsitting me here.Oh, if only death would outstare itself for ever in its iron mirror. God, what a down-at-heel hope for a voiceless evaporation…...

“Yesterday, yes, I still existed here”

Yesterday, yes, I still existed here: in this pitiful winestain, in these paupered words way past their prime,in that handshake which I will never manage to hold in any of my handbooks, and which under…...

“With one hand in my lap”

With one hand in my lap, with my other hand on the table. My head is located above it;in which a landscape drops anchor, sun-drenched. It is one moonless evening. While his son carefully draws the sculls…...

“Since nobody was there anyway”

Since nobody was there anyway, and since it is not blocked off, it's time for a walk once again along the brink of the beach, where all of a sudden the woods held back, or have withdrawn by degrees.Thinking…...

“One fine day it was night”

One fine day it was night. I seemed to be just about to catch my first fish. Suddenly it allconspires against me. It was too late to unbait my hook. I head for home, humming in my sleep, to worship the…...