Skip to content

Keywords

Articles tagged "Dutch"

From “Cinderella”

There she stood, cursing her three Jack Russells, that unsettled afternoon my mother and I planned to take over a brothel. Our backer and soon-to-be business partner, a short, skinny, and bald guy who suffered being called Daffy Danny, was about to keep us waiting for the best part of an hour that afternoon. The self-proclaimed madman might have had half a million in his bank account, and my mother and I might have been depending on every single cent of that money for our future enterprise,...

What You’ve Given Up Hoping for Counts Twice as Much, She’d Discovered

ONE Even when she looked in a mirror she had a smile on her face these days; when she went down the stairs there was practically a skip in her step, and now and again, a tune would come humming out of her. What you’ve given up hoping for counts twice as much, Kathleen had discovered. After her divorce, there’d been Emiel. He had Crohn’s disease. It hadn’t been officially diagnosed but he assumed he had it, given the unreliability of his bowels. He didn’t...

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 the way someone who is no longer impatient speaks. Huang Tingjian on Tao Qian: The poems are of no use to someone just out of childhood, but if he rereads them when he is old it is as if he has made his decisions without knowing enough. Huang Tingjian says that Su Dongpo is...

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 write about. A child asks if something is important enough to think about. Is this an excuse to get out of doing something else? The other children are already at work. Reading takes time, just like looking around. Every word Du Fu uses, he read somewhere. He remembers the meaning of...

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 send him somewhere else, see if he changes his tune then. His trick is to be more than happy when things are going well. It’s a warm evening and it will rain later. More to see left and right than he can list. Quiet, except for old man Du Fu reproaching old man...

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 come from Spite and Remorse. Most of the plantations no longer exist. Abandoned by their inhabitants, the buildings collapsed. Sluices silted up and fields became swamps and breeding grounds for caiman. The trading stations fell prey to parasites, weeds and choking liana. Slowly, the...

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 final victory. They were man and wife already, without having to get married. "Why?" he asks. "Why get married? It's been fine, it will keep being fine for years." "Not to you," she says, "to someone else." Someone else, two words that pretty much sum up their relationship. It...

Freedom Can Be a Nightmare: An Interview with Kader Abdolah

This interview was originally published August 12, 1995, in NRC Handelsblad. A unique phenomenon in Dutch literature: Kader Abdolah, a political refugee from Iran who writes little gems of stories—in Dutch. It took him only five years to master the language. How did he do it? And what keeps him going? Kader Abdolah talks about his "terrible youth" in Iran, the struggle against the Shah and Khomeini, and about the exile's dilemma. "The Dutch language is overflowing the banks of...

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.