Archive for June, 2022

What do you know about Ostend?
 – Did you know that James Ensor, the painter, grew up there?
 – Or that Marvin Gaye, soul legend, once lived there?

 – We have just passed Bloomsday, but did you know that James Joyce and family spent a very happy vacation there, in 1926?
It made its way into Finnegan’s Wake, he was writing at the time.

Then, there is Aldous Huxley spending many formative periods in Brabant.

Albert Einstein in De Haan , on the West Flanders coast.

These are just the bare bones. The cultural richness is there to be awakened for you, explored.

Access to the Dutch cultural impact is here made available to the English-speaking world.
And it is very rich and rewarding.

The High Road to Culture in Flanders and The Netherlandsis your passport:

The site is the online presence of the Flemish-Dutch cultural institution Ons Erfdeel vzw.
They state:
It is our mission to provide an English-language audience with the necessary background information to be able to appreciate the arts, history, language, literature and societal developments in the Low Countries. We pay special attention to connections between Dutch and English-speaking communities.

The site has a highly polished, interactive, and reactive, screen presence. 
Stylistic, smart, and always up-to-date on a surprising range of events, publications, activities.

The site’s banner head gives us access to a wide swathe of Dutch and Flemish culture : Arts History Language Literature Society Podcast and also Publication.

The present updated site gives us articles on Why Brussels Needs to Rethink Its Governance, a lively in-depth look at how Brussels negotiates its multi-lingual needs of governance.

We also see in Art In The Chapel, how an abandoned 16thchapel in Ghent has been revivified by artist Berlinde de Bruyckere.

New Book On Netherlandish Drawings 1500 – 1800which takes from Breughel, through Peter Paul Rubens (what skill at age 20!) onwards.

What do you know about Polydore de Keyser? He was a Flemish hotelier who moved to London, eventually becoming Lord Mayor.

There is an on-going Series side-banner, where history articles are made available from the Republic of Amsterdam Radio group.
These in themselves are invaluable. But they are just one part of what is available on this site.
There is, of course, the Young Voices on Slavery series, where young people respond to actual artefacts and records of slavery.
The latest venture in this field is Young Writers On Invisible Labour, where responses are to the neglected workers behind great works.

Or video poetry:

And there is the regular Friday Verses slot, that I keep recommending. Some excellent work here, available in English translation for the first time.

Here are 41 Dutch Books You Need To Read This Summer, available in translation, summer 2022: Fiction, Poetry, Comics and Graphic Novels, Children’s and Youth Literature, and Nonfiction. 

Or, you may prefer Stefan Zweig on The Land Between The Languages, an jewel of a book, illustrated, of his reportages of times in The Netherlands, reflections on The Great War, and the arts of the period.

Try this one: When Did New York Stop Speaking Dutch?

You can sign-up to their email newsletter. Better still is to open a subscription, and choose an option. 
Subscription opens up the archive of articles, podcasts and themed series.

Highly recommended.

Ernst Jandl (1925 – 2000). Austrian writer, best known for his sound poems, concrete poetry and and the use of performance and visuals. Long associated with, and companion of, Friedericke Mayrocker.

Einsturzenden Neubauten

Posted: June 11, 2022 in John Stammers Page


The Tacit

Posted: June 6, 2022 in Chat
Tags: , , , ,


Then she walked naked across the room,
the apartment on the Med, it was late afternoon.

Did it for him: walk slow, stand quiet.
But unsure of herself, in his eyes, that light,

the later recall. A part of her hated this, 
part thought So is it love, then? This

ambivalence? Part fought for innocence, part 
for knowledge. That bouquet they bought?

She was a stray bloom in the laid-out display; 
a green stem in the water, the dark.

And he, well he was caught up in the high 
of good times, the botched-up DIY

of street name, reputation. But how do you share 
this Matisse moment – so intense, rare,

her nude light, hues, changing volumes? 
It bewildered him: he wanted the noise of blooms,

and the silent flower. But could not 
bridge the distances to where she stood,

nor achieve the distinction of that unique state,
beyond the mosquitoes, the chipped plate.


Puis elle a marché nue à travers la pièce,
l’appartement sur la Méditerranée, c’était en fin d’après-midi.

Je l’ai fait pour lui : marchez lentement, restez silencieux.
Mais peu sûre d’elle, à ses yeux, cette lumière,

le rappel ultérieur. Une partie d’elle détestait ça,
une partie de la pensée Alors est-ce de l’amour, alors ? Cette

ambivalence? Une partie s’est battue pour l’innocence, une partie
pour la connaissance. Ce bouquet qu’ils ont acheté ?

Elle était une fleur perdue dans l’étalage aménagé;
une tige verte dans l’eau, l’obscurité.

Et lui, eh bien, il a été pris dans le haut
de bons moments, le bricolage bâclé

du nom de la rue, de la réputation. Mais comment partagez-vous
ce moment Matisse – si intense, rare,

sa lumière nue, ses teintes, ses volumes changeants ?
Cela le déconcertait : il voulait le bruit des fleurs,

et la fleur silencieuse. Mais ne put pas
combler les distances à l’endroit où elle se tenait,

ni atteindre la distinction de cet état unique,
au-delà des moustiques, l’assiette ébréchée.


Poi camminò nuda attraverso la stanza,
l’appartamento sul Med, era tardo pomeriggio.

L’ha fatto per lui: cammina piano, stai zitto.
Ma insicura di sé, nei suoi occhi, quella luce,

il successivo richiamo. Una parte di lei lo odiava,
pensiero in parte Quindi è amore, allora? Questo

ambivalenza? In parte ha combattuto per l’innocenza, in parte
per conoscenza. Quel bouquet che hanno comprato?

Era un fiore perduto nell’esposizione allestita;
uno stelo verde nell’acqua, il buio.

E lui, beh, è stato preso in alto
dei bei tempi, il fai-da-te pasticciato

del nome della via, della reputazione. Ma come condividi
questo momento Matisse – così intenso, raro,

la sua luce nuda, i suoi colori, i suoi volumi cangianti?
Lo sconcertò: voleva il rumore dei fiori,

e il fiore silenzioso. Ma non potevo
colmare le distanze fino a dove si trovava,

né raggiungere la distinzione di quello stato unico,
oltre le zanzare, il piatto scheggiato.


Luego caminó desnuda por la habitación,
el apartamento en el Mediterráneo, era tarde.

Lo hizo por él: camine despacio, quédese quieto.
Pero insegura de sí misma, en sus ojos, esa luz,

el recuerdo posterior. Una parte de ella odiaba esto,
parte del pensamiento Entonces, ¿es amor? Este

¿ambivalencia? Parte luchó por la inocencia, parte
para el conocimiento. ¿Ese ramo que compraron?

Ella era una flor perdida en la exhibición dispuesta;
un tallo verde en el agua, la oscuridad.

Y él, bueno, estaba atrapado
de alto veces, el intento de bricolaje

del nombre de la calle, la reputación. pero como compartes
este momento de Matisse, tan intenso, raro,

su luz desnuda, tonalidades, volúmenes cambiantes?
Lo desconcertó: quería el ruido de las flores,

y la flor silenciosa. pero no pude
acortar las distancias a donde ella estaba,

ni lograr la distinción de ese estado único,
más allá de los mosquitos, el plato astillado.