J. Slauerhoff

The life of the ship’s doctor and poet Jan Jacob Slauerhoff (1898-1936) satisfies all the criteria for literary stardom. He was restless, adventurous, and intriguing, a tormented loner who suffered poor health and died young – a poète maudit in every way.

Photo: Collectie Letterkundig Museum

‘My poems are my only home,’ wrote Slauerhoff, and despite the romanticism of these words, his life really was a lonely undertaking. A similar non-conformism characterizes his literary work. Slauerhoff’s prose exhibits the same features as his poetry: it is strongly autobiographical, restless and world-weary, and revealing a yearning for the unreachable and for a more passionate age.

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