Author

Remco Campert

After a long career, Remco Campert (b. 1929) is still one of the most popular writers in the Netherlands. He started as a poet and short-story writer, but from the sixties onwards he has also published novels, such as his highly successful debut Het leven is vurrukkulluk (Life is Grrreat, 1961). Some of his other ‘classics’ are the story collections Alle dagen feest (Party Party, 1955) and Een ellendige nietsnut (A Useless Layabout, 1960), the novel Liefdes schijnbewegingen (No Holds Barred, 1963) and the novella Sombermans actie (Somberman’s Action, 1985). His style is tinged with irony and his work is often autobiographical. In 1976 Campert was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize for his poetry. 2006 saw the last of his popular newspaper columns in de Volkskrant. In the autumn of his life Campert has found inspiration for new novels, including the warmly received Een liefde in Parijs (A Love in Paris, 2004).

The poetry of Remco Campert

(De Bezige Bij, )

Although the 1950s – jazz and Paris, the special atmosphere of the post-war period with its combination of hope and cynicism – have remained a vital reference point for Campert, he has always moved with the times. Since the 1990s his poetry has taken a new turn, becoming more reflective, even elegiac in tone. While his new work also begins in the everyday and the incidental, it often takes off from these to air more universal questions.

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As if in a Dream

As if in a Dream

(De Bezige Bij, 2000, 69 pages)

Throughout his career, Remco Campert has demonstrated an unprecedented versatility, which has always earned him the appreciation of a wide range of readers. Starting out as a poet, he was part of the Vijftig movement in the 1950s, which, in a short period, brought new, revolutionary zeal to Dutch poetry. Campert gained recognition in 1976 when he received the most important Dutch language literary prize, the P.C. Hooft Prize, for his collected poems.

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A Love in Paris

(De Bezige Bij, 2004, 160 pages)

In A Love in Paris, poet and writer Richard Sanders returns to the city of light after several decades, dreaming of a time when he lived there with his painter friend ‘Tovèr’: ‘They actually lived without principles, an ideal state.’ As the book goes on, however, his memories seem increasingly unreliable. ‘In reality he had never existed in this city.’

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The Satin Heart

The Satin Heart

(De Bezige Bij, 2006, 190 pages)

Remco Campert’s apparent mildness and light ironic touch towards affairs of the heart have been altering gradually with the onset of old age and its infirmities, and the inevitable approach of death. The time comes for a reluctant final reckoning. In Het satijnen hart (The Satin Heart), this is the prospect facing the well-known painter Hendrik van Otterloo, who bears some resemblance to Karel Appel.

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Translated books