UCL awards Honorary Doctorate to Cees Nooteboom

UCL Dutch celebrates this recognition for the Dutch author. As a poet, novelist and travel writer whose work has been translated into over thirty languages, it is time that Nooteboom’s work is recognized and honoured in this way in the English-speaking world. Known for his playful novels such as In the Dutch Mountains which still deal with the most profound issues, it is Nooteboom’s resolute, critical Europeanism that is perhaps most significant at the present time.

Cees Nooteboom’s work has been enjoyed by many UCL students, not only of Dutch literature, but of comparative literature and translation studies too. Their world is not unlike that of the narrator of In the Dutch Mountains. ‘What else do I read? Diaries, letters and, best of all, dictionaries. For let us be honest: without the intervention of any thinking agent, language itself is still the greatest communicator.’

Cees Nooteboom will formally receive his doctorate in at UCL’s graduation ceremonies in September 2019.

 

Picture © MacLehose Press

New Dutch Writing campaign kicks off with focus on literary translation

[text from www.thebookseller.com]

The New Dutch Writing campaign launched last week, with a focus on literary translation and presenting a new generation of Dutch authors.

Dutch and British representatives from the world of books and translation gathered to celebrate the launch at The Union Club in Soho on Wednesday evening (3rd July). Speeches were given by Brechje Schwachofer, deputy ambassador of the Dutch Embassy, and Bas Pauw from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Pauw said: “New Dutch Writing will focus on presenting a new generation of Dutch authors, an exciting young literature written at the heart of Europe, by Britains closest neighbours on the continent – both geographically and psychologically. A literature that feels familiar and exotic at the same time.  

“The other central theme of the campaign will be literary translation. Literary translation as a vital culture – not as a threshold for foreign authors, not as a nuisance for publishers, but as an intriguing intellectual skill and as a cultural richness. We will give centre stage to the people who make it possible for UK readers to read Dutch books. We will get translators on stage, organise residencies for translators and reach out to the young generation of aspiring translators. The campaign will be celebrating the work of translators and capitalising on the growing interest in international literature among UK readers.”

The launch saw The Union building specially dressed in the New Dutch Writing livery and attendees received goody bags including samplers for forthcoming Dutch books from John Murray and Picador, a gift voucher for new Dutch restaurant Gezellig and a bespoke NDW bicycle bell.

More information here and here.

Three events at UCL Festival of Culture (3-7 June 2019)

UCL’s Department of Dutch was present with three events at this year’s Festival of Culture, an annual festival organised by the Faculty of Arts and Humanities for the wider public.

Christine Sas kicked off on Monday 3rd of July with a Dutch language taster, attended by over 30 visitors.

On Tuesday, Reinier Salverda enlightened his audience in the British Library Pavilion with a discussion of “The Book that killed Colionalism”, Max Havelaar, by Multatuli. A Dutch classic, still relevant to literature, history and politics today, Max Havelaar is the emblem of the Dutch Fair Trade Movement, and its latest English translation has recently been published by the New York Review of Books in its Classics Originals series.

Visitors were also invited to a show and tell session with curator of Dutch Collections Marja Kingma at the British Library to see original books by and about Multatuli from their Dutch Collection.

On Friday of the Festival Week, a group of die-hards joined Ulrich Tiedau in the pouring rain on a Dutch walk through Bloomsbury that took them from the impressive Dutch library at UCL, past Gerard Reve’s former living place, when he unsuccessfully tried to establish himself on the English market in the 1950s, the Elizabeth Anderson Gallery with its connections to Dutch and British feminism, the Eurostar terminal, London’s gateway to the Low Countries, and the many beautiful Dutch and Flemish exhibits of the British Library.

Travelling and Translation: Abdelkader Benali (31 January 2014)

15 January 2014

Students, alumni and friends of the UCL Dutch department are warmly invited to a talk and wine reception organised by the UCL Centre for Low Countries Studies.

Abdelkader BenaliIn the first part of the programme, Dutch writer Abdelkader Benali will be reading from his 2009 novel My Mother’s Voice (‘De stem van mijn moeder’) in which a boy from Morocco becomes a photographer and infiltrates the cultural elite of the Netherlands, leaving behind his parents’ world. Reconciliation becomes possible when the family confronts one tragic event and one life-affirming event.

The programme continues with Abdelkader Benali in a wide-ranging conversation on travelling, border crossings, east meets west, translating between languages and cultures, and how this affects lives.

Biography

Abdelkader Benali was born in Morocco. When he was four years old, he and his family, of Berber background, migrated to the Netherlands and settled in Rotterdam. When he was twenty-one his debut novel Bruiloft aan zee (‘Wedding by the Sea’) appeared and was a huge critical and commercial success (1997). It was translated into many languages and nominated for the renowned Libris Prize for Literature that he received for his second novel, De langverwachte (‘The Long-Awaited’, 2002) in 2003.

Where and when?

This event is organised by the UCL Centre for Low Countries Studies and will be held at: Arts and Humanities Common Room G24, Ground floor, Foster Court University College London

Friday 31 January, 6.00–7.30pm.

Attendance is free but subject to registration: click here to register.

Joost Zwagerman Writer in Residence at UCL Dutch in 2010/11

9 September 2010

Joost ZwagermanJoost Zwagerman will be Dutch Writer in Residence at UCL in 2010/11. The Writer in Residence, supported by the Nederlands Letterenfonds, will engage with students and staff in the department and actively contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Joost Zwagerman’s debute novel De houdgreep was published in 1986. His second and third novels Gimmick! (1989) and Vals licht (1991) were adapted for theatre and screen (by Theo van Gogh) respectively and he received the prestigious AKO literatuurprijs for the latter. The acclaimed novels Chaos en Rumoer, Zes Sterren and De buitenvrouw followed. Besides books, Joost Zwagerman also publishes poetry and essays and writes regular columns for the for the NRC Handelsblad. For his most recent poetry bundle Roeshoofd hemelt he was awarded the Awater poetry prize. Among his essay work are Pornotheek Arcadië and Het vijfde seizoen, published in 2001 and 2003.

To a Dutch audience he is also known as host of the programme Zomergasten on Dutch television and appeared on stage with fellow Dutch writer Ronald Giphart. In Januari 2008 Joost Zwagerman was awarded the ‘Gouden Ganzeveer’, as a reward for his work as an extraordinary addition to the Dutch written culture. He lives with his wife and children in Amsterdam. The work of Joost Zwagerman is translated into a dozen languages, including English, German, French and Japanese.

More information about Joost Zwagerman can be found on his website.