Author

K. Schippers

K. Schippers (b. 1936) is a versatile author. He debuted in 1963 with a poetry collection, but also published novels, short stories, essays and interviews. Further, he was one of the founders of the literary journal Barbarber. A few of his more recent titles are Een leeuwerik boven een weiland (A Lark over a Meadow, 1996, poetry), Zilah (2002, novel), De vliegende camera (The Flying Camera, 2003, essays) and Waar was je nou (Where Were You, 2005, novel). For the latter he was awarded the Libris Literature Prize 2006. Schippers often focuses on the unusual in everyday life, on looking carefully at the everyday world until it becomes fresh again. In 1996 he was awarded the P.C. Hooft Prize for his essays.

Zilah

(Querido, 2002, 301 pages)

K. Schippers is not a writer of clear-cut novels. He always puts forward an idea, a philosophy or a surprising insight and lets this determine the course of the story, and not the other way around. This is less common among novelists than poets or essayists. That said, it should come as no surprise that in Schipper’s multi-facetted oeuvre, which he began in the early 1960s, genres blend fluently into one another: his poetry has a rather prosaic quality to it; his essays are not infrequently short stories, and his novels contain poems and observations you might expect to find in an essay.

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Where Were You

Where Were You

(Querido, 2005, 240 pages)

Waar was je nou (‘Where were you’) is filled, as so often in Schippers’ books, with parallel worlds. On the very first page, for instance, we meet a Turkish grocer who understands Dutch only when he’s in his shop but not when he’s outside; in Schippers’ universe only artists are capable of bridging two such worlds.

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Marcel Duchamp’s Bride

Marcel Duchamp’s Bride

(Querido, 2010, 259 pages)

Marcel Duchamp first introduced the theme of the bride into his work in 1912, when he began preparing to create an artwork in glass, La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (The Bride Stripped Bare by her Bachelors, Even). On his death in 1968 he turned out to have been working on a large installation that again features a bride. Yet in the many publications about Duchamp, little attention is paid to the issue of who the bride actually was, a question usually dismissed as too personal – even though the ‘même’ of the title can also be read as ‘m’aime’ (loves me).

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