High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

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High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

‘Nothing worthwhile ever happens, except maybe some acts of consolation'. Literature according to Herman Brusselmans (with Two Extracts by Herman Brusselmans)
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‘Nothing worthwhile ever happens, except maybe some acts of consolation'. Literature according to Herman Brusselmans (with Two Extracts by Herman Brusselmans)

(Bart van der Straeten) The Low Countries - 2006, № 14, pp. 227-237

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Herman Brusselmans, the self-proclaimed Handsome Young Jupiter of Flemish literature, is nothing if not prolific. Since his debut in 1982 he has published two books a year with clockwork regularity and his total production now exceeds thirty titles. His first effort, a collection of stories, was not an immediate hit, but in the novels that followed it Brusselmans attracted an ever-growing band of readers with his humorous, semi-autobiographical accounts of the often less than scintillating life of a young man afflicted with angst and melancholy in the 1980s. Brusselmans brought sex, music and booze – in short, rock 'n roll – into Flemish literature. These days Brusselmans is if anything better known as a Flemish Celebrity than as a writer: when he married for the second time in 2005 there was wide coverage in newspapers, magazines and even gossip sheets. He sells more books than many Dutch-language authors could ever dream of: between 10,000 and 20,000 copies per book. But what sort of books are they?

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