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Gerrit Krol

Despite Gerrit Krol’s (1934-2013) work as computer programmer and systems analyst at Shell and the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM), he has written an imposing and varied oeuvre of nineteen novels, several collection short stories and poetry as well as collections of essays and columns on science, philosophy and literature. Krol received the Multatuli prize for his novel De weg naar Sacramento (‘The Road To Sacramento’, 1977), and for his collection of essays De mechanica van het liegen (‘The Mechanics of Lying’, 1985) he received the Busken Huet Prize. He received the Constantijn Huygens Award in 1986 for his entire opus and in 2001 again with the P.C. Hooft Award.

Middletons dood

(Querido, 1996, 236 pagina's)

The novel De ziekte van Middleton (Middleton’s Disease, 1969) by Gerrit Krol has a collage-like structure and an open ending. The neurosis from which afflicts its narrator and is far from cured at the end of the book, manifests itself in a fascination for pictures and films of women baring their ample bosoms in the pre-silicone age; his favourites among them are the all-natural boobs of Margaret Middleton. Twenty-seven years on, the fun has gone out of furtively buying and perusing sex books, now girlie mags are there for the taking on every newsstand.

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De vitalist

De vitalist

(Querido, 2000, 132 pagina's)

‘Quite right,’ was Gerrit Krol’s characteristically laconic response upon being awarded the most important literary award in the Netherlands. Quite rightly indeed, the jury stated that Krol’s works are an abundance that never tires: ‘Krol approaches everything he creates like a new-born babe: he never loses his sense of astonishment or his openness.’ Krol’s themes are surprising, but his way with words is even less conventional. His novels tend towards poetry, his poems are prosaic, and his essays read like short stories.

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Rondo Veneziano

Rondo Veneziano

(Querido, 2004, 257 pagina's)

Science and technology are the main ingredients of Rondo Veneziano, as in pretty much all Krol’s novels and stories – and so is love. Reason and emotion, man and woman, poetry and technology, order and chaos, form and content – these are complex contradictions that Krol connects, as his writing passes seamlessly back and forth from the cryptic to the poetic, from the contemplative to the funny. With the uniqueness of his themes and approach, Krol is one of the most remarkable Dutch writers of the past forty years. With Rondo Veneziano this reputation is once again confirmed.

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