The Low Countries

Deze Engelstalige blog, gelinkt aan het jaarboek The Low Countries, brengt nieuws over taal, cultuur en maatschappij in de Lage Landen voor een breed buitenlands publiek.

  • 12 juni 2017

The Flemish roots of cricket

The Flemish roots of cricket

Former curator of Dutch & Flemish collections at the British Library Dr Jaap Harskamp has written a guest post on the blog European Languages Across Borders about the roots of cricket and the way it connects medieval England and Flanders.

The post describes how cricket developed during the medieval period, when Flanders imported English wool for its textiles industry, while England imported Flemish cloth. 

Harskamp cites 16th century sources attributing the introduction of cricket to immigrant Flemish weavers.
  • 7 juni 2017

The Low Countries-contributor Ian Buruma appointed editor of The New York Review of Books

The Low Countries-contributor Ian Buruma appointed editor of The New York Review of Books

Ian Buruma (1951) has been appointed editor of The New York Review of Books, succeeding Robert B. Silvers. Buruma is a contributor to and member of the Advisory Committee of the yearbook The Low Countries,

He was born in The Hague to a British mother and Dutch father. He studied Chinese at Leiden University and Japanese cinema in Tokyo. He has written books in both English and Dutch on a wide range of current affairs themes, from Asia to World War II to hostile views of the West.

In 2008 he received the Erasmus Prize, awarded to those who have “made an exceptional contribution to the humanities or the arts, in Europe and beyond”. He was voted one of the Top 100 Public Intellectuals by the Foreign Policy/Prospect magazines in 2008, and in 2010.

Buruma is currently the Paul W. Williams Professor of Democracy, Human Rights, and Journalism at Bard College. He writes about a broad range of political and cultural subjects for major publications such as The New YorkerThe New York Times, and The GuardianLa Repubblica and NRC Handelsblad.

In 2004, Buruma wrote an essay for The Low Countries, entitled ‘I didn't know about the holocaust then. Growing up in Holland’. Read it here.

  • 29 mei 2017

Wendelien van Oldenborgh at the Venice Biennale 2017

Wendelien van Oldenborgh at the Venice Biennale 2017

Artist Wendelien van Oldenborgh (1962) and curator Lucy Cotter (1973) are currently representing the Netherlands at the 57th Venice Biennale (13 May to 26 November 2017) with a set of films entitled Cinema Olanda.

Van Oldenborgh’s films present a view which contrasts with the progressive image of openness and transparency conveyed by the Rietveld pavilion. She offers an alternative narrative to the Netherlands’ self-image as a tolerant nation, revealing a complex and rapidly transforming social, cultural and political space, both in the 1950s and today.

  • 12 mei 2017

Dirk Braeckman at the Venice Biennale 2017

Dirk Braeckman at the Venice Biennale 2017

Flemish photographer and artist Dirk Braeckman (1958, Eeklo), whose pictures have previously been described as ‘unexploded bombs’, is to provide the Belgian submission for the 57th Venice Biennale, which runs from today, 13 May, to 26 November 2017.

  • 5 mei 2017

Ivo Van Hove directs 'Obsession' at the Barbican

Ivo Van Hove directs 'Obsession' at the Barbican

Flemish theatre director Ivo Van Hove is the director of the world premiere of Obsession at the Barbican in London, starring Jude Law alongside actors from Van Hove’s company Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

  • 31 maart 2017

The Low Countries 25: The Ambiguous Heritage of the Sixties

The Low Countries 25: The Ambiguous Heritage of the Sixties

The 25th volume of The Low Countries yearbook is out and can be ordered hereThe theme of this volume is: ‘Be Realistic. Demand the Impossible’ - The Ambiguous Heritage of the Sixties. In this blog post you can read the chief editor's introduction. You can also browse through the first few pages. 

 
  • 28 maart 2017

Restoration of Hans Memling Masterpiece Complete

Restoration of Hans Memling Masterpiece Complete

After 16 years of painstaking work specialists at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) have finished the restoration of Christ with Singing and Music-Making Angels, a 15th-century triptych by Hans Memling (c. 1430-1494), a German-born artist who spent most of his career in Bruges.

  • 24 maart 2017

Stefan Hertmans first ever Belgian on the Man Booker International longlist

Stefan Hertmans first ever Belgian on the Man Booker International longlist

The New York Times places it in the 2016 top 10The Economist calls it one of the best books of the year and now it has been nominated for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 longlist. The English-speaking world is lapping up Stefan Hertmans’ War and Turpentine.

Since its original publication in 2013, Oorlog en terpentijn has been deluged with positive responses, with sales receiving an extra boost from the commemoration of World War I in 2014. Hertmans’ Oorlog en terpentijn has won various prizes in Flanders and the Netherlands.

The novel was translated into English by David McKay and published in the UK in 2016 by Harvill Secker, later appearing in the US published by Knopf and Australia and New Zealand by Text. The promising review in The Guardian stated, “War and Turpentine has all the markings of a future classic”, and The New York Times compared Hertmans with the German author W. G. Sebald. Translator David McKay praised Hertmans’ style in De Standaard: “With Stefan Hertmans you hear a poet speaking.”

Meanwhile Harvill Secker is up to four or five print runs. The translation rights were recently sold for Hebrew, Arabic, Greek and Turkish, bringing the novel up to 21 translations.

  • 17 maart 2017

10 Hidden Gems from Dutch Literature

10 Hidden Gems from Dutch Literature

The Dutch Foundation for Literature published a new edition of 10 Books from Holland. The foundation visited the London Book Fair with the spring edition of the brochure and presented ten titles from the Netherlands to foreign publishers. 

One of those titles is already published: the highly acclaimed The Evenings by Gerard Reve. The other selected books  are:

Herman Koch – The Ditch (De Greppel, 2016)

Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer – Peachez. A Romance (Peachez, een romance, 2017)

David Pefko – There Come the Flies (Daar komen de vliegen, 2017)

Eva Meijer – The Bird Cottage (Het vogelhuis, 2016)

Christine Otten – We Had Love, We Had Weapons (We hadden liefde, we hadden wapens, 2016)

Hanna Bervoets – Ivanov (Ivanov, 2016)

Dola de Jong – The Tree and the Vine (De thuiswacht, 1954)

Aart Taminiau – Wool (Wol, 2016)

Frederik Baas – Diary From the River (Dagboek uit de rivier, 2017)