Quotes on Hugo Claus
Victoria Glendinning on The Sorrow of Belgium
The Times June 28, 1990
"The author is a poet, a dramatist and a film-maker, as well as a novelist,
and he brings the skills of all these roles to his 600 pages. To give yourself
up to The Sorrow of Belgium is to remember what
total immersion in a book felt like in adolescence."
Richard Burns on The Sorrow of Belgium
The Independent July 28, 1990
"The Sorrow of Belgium is impressive in size
and ambition: bildungsroman and epic, it is as if A Portrait of the Artist
as a Young Man were written to the scale of Ulysses. The comparison with
Joyce is more then fortuitous, for The Sorrow of Belgium centres on early
adolescence, Catholicism, and on a boy turning not into a man but into
that slightly different beast, a writer."
Paul Binding on The Swordfish
"Hugo Claus, who is the author of the widely acclaimed The sorrow of Belgium
(1990), is pre-eminent among Flemisch (indeed Belgian) writers, several
times a candidate for the Nobel Prize. Of the sophistication of his art, its
sureness of touch, the deftness with which it handles characters, events,
symbolically charged places and objects, there can be no doubt, especially
as Ruth Levitt's translation reads easily and sensitively."
Trouw (a Dutch daily paper) on Belladonna:
"Claus has decribed all these events masterfully, succinctly, humorously,
venomenously, in his almost physical language. This is what makes Belladonna
so engaging to read (...). It is a great novel in which a great deal of
artistic humbug is ridiculed (...) and in which Claus's imaginative talent
has been able to unfold in all its variety and scope."