Guest 2014, 2017.




Leipzig, 1996

[Ü: Kathrin Kötz]


Verhalen onderweg


Amsterdam, 1998

Muziek voor de overtocht

De Bezige Bij

Amsterdam, 2005

Der Himmel meines Großvaters

Hanser Berlin

Berlin, 2014

[Ü.: Ira Wilhelm]

Die Fremde

Hanser Berlin

Berlin, 2017

[Ü.: Ira Wilhelm]

Stefan Hertmans [ Belgium ]

Stefan Hertmans was born in Ghent in 1951. Until 2010, he was professor and director of Studium Generale at University College Ghent, where he focused on art criticism, agogics and philosophy. He has also taught at the Library of Congress in Washington, the Sorbonne and the University of Mexico.

One of the most renowned and most influential authors writing in Dutch, Hertmans has published several prose works, more than a dozen volumes of poetry, collections of essays on cultural and philosophical themes as well as several plays. In 1994 his first piece »Kopnaad« (tr. Fontanel) premiered at Kaaitheater in Brussels. His new piece »Antigone in Molenbeek« will premiere in Kaaitheater in October 2017. Filled with irony and symbolism, his novel »Naar Merelbeke« (1994; tr. To Merelbeke) is a childhood story that develops a logic of its own as it moves between perception and imagination. »Steden« (1998; Eng. »Intercities«, 2001) pointedly contrasts subjective impressions of different European cities, capturing various moods subtly. He follows the paths of legendary writers and praises cities as places of deeply human communication. »Music for the crossing« is a collection of some 800 poems, the title of and award-winning poetry cycle on Paul Cézanne, Vaslav Nijinsky, Paul Hindemith, Paul Valéry and Wallace Stevens, and the title of a literature-music production which recently toured. Arts continue to play an important role in the widely praised »Oorlog en terpentijn« (2013; Eng. »War and Turpentine«, 2016), a partial biography of Hertmans’ grandfather, pieced together posthumously from notebooks and diaries entrusted to his grandson. He expertly portrays different scenes of a childhood spent in poverty, a passion for painting, and the trauma of fighting on the front line during the First World War. Individual biographies, historical upheavals, words and images, past and present merge in this brilliant fresco. His most recent work, a historical novel, »De bekeerlinge« (2016; tr. The converted), tells of the escape of a Christian women who has converted to Judaism, whose Jewish husband is killed in the attack on the synagogue of Monieux. Beginning with the fate of this one individual, Hertmans succeeds in reconstructing the world of the 11th century with all of its chaotic social and political conditions and upheavals.

Hertmans received numerous prizes, the Belgian State Prize for Poetry, the Ferdinand Bordewijk Prize, the Ed du Perron Prize and the Royal Academy of Dutch Language and Literature Prize, among others. »War and Turpentine« gained the Flemish Culture Prize for Literature, the Inktaap and the famous AKO-Award. Abroad it was listed amongst the 10 best books of the year by the New York Times and The Economist, it was nominated for the Man Booker International as well as for the Premio Strega. Hertmans lives near Brussels.