Tag Archives: Dutch literature

RIP K. Schippers (1936 – 2021)

K. Schippers was a Dutch poet (“Ja”), prose writer and art critic (Eb, 1992).

There are so many reasons to praise Schippers but I shall give only one. The magazine Barbarber (1958–71) which he co-founded and edited, introduced the nobrow sensibility to The Netherlands.

An issue of Barbarber

Nobrow means the appreciation and mixing of high and low culture, exemplified in the case of Barbarber on the high culture side by Duchamp, Satie, Schwitters and Carroll and at the low culture side by Krazy Kat, Laurel and Hardy, The KillingKiss Me Deadly at the low end.

The word barbarber is a portmanteau of barbaar (barbarian) and rabarber (rhubarb).

RIP Jules Deelder (1944 – 2019)

‘Deelder draait’ (2002), compiled by Deelder

Two art icons of the Low Countries, the area where I live and where Dutch is spoken, died. One was an artist, the other a poet.

One is Panamarenko (1940 – 2019) and I reported his death here.

The other is the Dutch poet Jules Deelder (1944 – 2019).

When the second died I felt empathy, some sense of loss that I had not felt with the first.

And then it dawned on me why that was. To me, Panamarenko was but some sort of town’s fool who made art to amuse the rich or for the ‘poor little rich folk’ who were in search of their inner child and recognized in him their boy’s dream. Although I did not dislike him, my feelings toward him had been at best ambiguous.

Deelder was another case altogether.

I’d always liked him. He was punk. He was into drugs. He snorted speed. He looked stylish. He was into music. He made poetry cool. He made art for the rich and poor. He crossed boundaries. He was sharp. He was funny.

For an international audience, there are a set of four jazz compilations: ‘Deelder draait’ (2002), ‘Deelder draait door’ (2003), ‘Deelder blijft draaien’ (2004) and ‘Deelderhythm’ (2006).