The death of the Dutch writer Jeroen Brouwers (82) is being responded to from various angles.
The Flemish writer Erwin Mortier honors his “transverse teacher, to whom we owe so much”. “When I die, ‘eternity’ begins for me. All those who died before me, from millions of years ago to today, have more eternity on them than I will ever be able to catch up with?”, he quotes Brouwers.
“It was an honor to interview and speak to him as one of the very last people in my life. It’s so bad he’s gone now. But someone with such an impressive oeuvre will probably stay for a long time, and that is nice in the light of death that has always come too soon”, responds the Flemish author Griet Op de Beeck†
Photographer Stephan Vanfleteren reminisces about his first meeting with the writers. “I stood at your door at the beginning of this century. I never knew you young. You were always that old scribe in the dark forest in a distant village with the last letter of the alphabet. ‘Don’t bother, everything has already been photographed here’. That was your welcome. My confidence was shattered at my feet even before my first look through the viewfinder,” he wrote on Instagram. “But it turned out okay. And I came back. And again. Three times I have had the pleasure of capturing you. I am very grateful for that.”
Reactions are also coming in from the political world. “He thought that ‘from (…) writings the sparks (should) fly, one should burn one’s batons.’ He always put his words into action. We will miss his sharp pen”, responds Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD)†
Flemish Prime Minister and Minister of Culture Jan Jambon (N-VA) speaks of “a great Dutch author with an impressive oeuvre that was devoured by many Flemish people”. “Compassionate to family, colleagues and friends,” he added.
“A great loss for Dutch literature”, says Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) then again. “Thank you for your wonderful books and masterful sentences, Jeroen Brouwers. “Nothing exists that does not touch something else.”
BIOGRAPHY. Jeroen Brouwers (82), grand master of the tormented brain †
Our last interview with Jeroen Brouwers: “I’m not bored. I don’t suffer – or at least not too much” †
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