Paul Claes (b. 1943) studied Dutch, English and classical arts and is also a specialist in French literature. He is active as a poet, essayist, translator and novelist. In 1988, he published the fascinating study, Echoes, echoes, which demonstrates exceptional erudition. Claes’ point of departure is the assumption that all texts refer in one way or another to other texts and this is amply illustrated in his creative work. In his poetry, in particular, he is adept at literary imitation, and pastiches and literary falsifications often lend his work a whimsical undertone. The Chameleon’s publication in 2002 completed Paul Claes’s cycle of prize-winning novels which in style and theme are rooted in Western cultural history. Lily marks the beginning of a new series of novels, set in the final decades of the twentieth century and featuring women in specific situations.