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Remco Campert - a household name in his own country where he is highly regarded not just as a poet but for his fiction and his entertaining newspaper column - is virtually unknown outside The Netherlands. In his Translator's Preface, Donald Gardner explains what drew him to Campert's poetry: "I liked its jaunty pessimism. I was attracted by the tension between the romantic, often sexual, energy of this poetry, and the off-hand cynicism, wit and irony...It is a poetry that draws the reader into it, so that one is seduced and lost before one realizes it." The present selection (drawn from Campert's entire oeuvre, though largely focusing on recent work) is his first UK publication since "In the year of the Strike" (Rapp & Whiting) appeared in 1968 and certainly the most substantial collection to date to appear in the English-speaking world.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781904614364
ISBN-10: 1904614361
Format: Paperback
(216mm x 138mm x 8mm)
Pages: 140
Imprint: Arc Publications
Publisher: Arc Publications
Publish Date: 22-Feb-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Remco Campert

Remco Campert, born in the Hague, 1929, is the son of poet Jan Campert and actress Joekie Broedelet. Drawn by the ambition to become a poet, he left school at the age of 17. In 1950 at 21, he was a co-founder of the literary journal Braak, and a year later, in 1951 his debut volume Vogels vliegen toch (Birds fly, don't they?) was published. Campert is associated with the group of post-war Dutch poets known as the 'Fifties Movement'. Coming to adulthood under the shadow of the Nazi occupation, these poets felt the need for a poetry that took nothing for granted, in terms of form or content. They dismantled traditional notions of poetry in favour of experiment and a language closer to common speech. Of this group Campert was always the most accessible and his work has always appealed to a broad public. Remco Campert has lived by the pen, writing novellas as well as poetry, and producing mischievous columns for the Dutch daily, the Volkskrant. He has won many awards, including the most famous, the P.C. Hooft Prize, for his complete poetic oeuvre (1979) He is well-known in Holland for his readings of his poetry. He is resident in Amsterdam but has spent periods of his life in Paris and Antwerp. He is married to the art consultant, Deborah Wolf. Now in his seventies, Campert continues to write both poetry and fiction. His most recent works are the novellas, 'Een liefde in Parijs' (A Romance in Paris) (2004) and 'Het satijnen hart' (Heart of Satin), (2006). Xandra Schutte writing in the Dutch weekly 'Vrij Nederland', says about Campert: 'His great gift is that he writes largely about himself, but does so with so great a distance that it never feels like navel-gazing and so little that he never falls into facile irony. If you want to describe his tone, however, you are chasing a soap bubble.' Donald Gardner, born in London in 1938, is a poet and freelance Dutch translator. He has lived in Holland since 1979. He was originally a translator of Latin American literature and his published work includes an acclaimed translation of Octavio Paz's long poem, 'The Sun Stone' (Cosmos, York 1968), and 'Marcel Duchamp or the Castle of Purity' (Cape 1970). He also published translations of poems by Ernesto Cardenal and contributed to 'Con Cuba', an anthology of Cuban poetry (Cape Goliard, 1969). He translated the notoriously difficult novel 'Three Trapped Tigers' by Guillermo Cabrera Infante, in collaboration with the author (Harper & Row, 1971). He is the author of several collections of poetry, the most recent of which are: 'How to Get the Most out of Your Jet Lag' (Ye Olde Font Shoppe, New Haven, 2001) and 'The Glittering Sea' (Hearing Eye Press, 2006). He is known for his performances of his poetry - in Amsterdam, London and New York. Paul Vincent studied at Cambridge and Amsterdam, and after teaching Dutch at the University of London for over twenty years became a full-time translator in 1989. Since then he has published a wide variety of translated poetry, non-fiction and fiction, including work by Achterberg, Claus, Couperus, Elsschot, Jellema, Mulisch, De Moor and Van den Brink.