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Charlotte Mutsaers

The artistic activities of Charlotte Mutsaers (b. 1942), which include paintings, woodcuts and bookcovers, make her a curious and highly original figure. In recent years she has focused mainly on writing essays and prose. In 1988 she made her debut with De markiezin, a book of prose miniatures. For Kersebloed, an excellent collection of essays, Mutsaers was awarded the Greshoff Prize 1992. Similar collections followed under the titles Hazepeper and Paardejam. In 1994 her highly acclaimed novel Rachels rokje (Rachel’s Skirt) appeared. It was published in German by Hanser. Her latest novel is Koetsier Herfst (2008). Charlotte Mutsaers is considered to be one of the Netherlands’ most original, inventive and enchanting writers. In 2000 she was awarded the Constantijn Huygens Prize for her entire oeuvre.

Rachels rokje

Rachels rokje

(De Bezige Bij, 1994, 310 pagina's)

In her essay collection Kersebloed, Charlotte Mutsaers wrote heartwarming sentences about artists she admires, such as Jules Renard, Francis Ponge, Daniil Charms and Dora Carrington. Her own work, like theirs, is characterized by a certain lightness and playfulness. The attention she once paid to toys, animals, unusual words and no less unusual human behaviours in figurative paintings and wood cuts, and which she now pays to them in plastic prose, could be misconstrued by inattentive readers as being merely naive and humorous. Yet Mutsaers has never skirted around serious subjects. On the contrary. Her unyielding lightness is a ploy designed to crush heaviness, crudeness and ugliness.…

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Zeepijn

Zeepijn

(De Bezige Bij, 1999, 254 pagina's)

Zeepijn is a lively book of sparkling, narrative essays about the sea, pine trees, fish, and fir cones, father, mother, Francis Ponge and Henri Michaux, Christmas and Ostend, the village on the Belgian coast where Mutsaers spent part of her life. It consists of thirty-six short chapters, which assume almost as many different forms. Charlotte Mutsaers’s highly commended, associative and very personal writing style makes Zeepijn a strange and agreeable adventure for the reader.

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