In Praise of Navigation: Twentieth Century Dutch Stories

ed. P.C. Evans
Paul Vincent
Publication Date: 
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
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From the West Indies to Shanghai, this collection of contemporary short stories opens up a new world of Dutch writing to English language readers. Subjects range from poetry to paranoia, power and desire as the reader is taken on a voyage around the globe, or focussed on a claustrophobic homeland. The variety of style, subject and thinking among authors from a small country may surprise, until we remind ourselves that Holland has been both a crossroads in Europe and an imperial power. This is an intense, powerful collection which sets the internal world of individuals against backgrounds such as the politics of post-Cold War Europe, and colonial, seafaring traditions.

In Praise of Navigation provides an overarching view of twentieth century Dutch writing in a field where many outstanding writers are poorly represented in translation and deserve a wider audience. It is a companion volume to In a Different Light – a collection of contemporary Dutch-language poets in translation, published by Seren in 2002.

Respected translators Paul Vincent and P.C. Evans bring memorably to life the works of authors like Harry Mulisch, Hugo Claus and Gerard Reve. The book has an Introduction by Amsterdam-based poet P.C. Evans and a Foreword by Lisa St Auban de Teran.

Paul Vincent is the translator of over a dozen works of fiction from the Dutch, published by leading British lists. P.C. Evans is a poet and translator of Dutch drama, two of whose translations were staged by Kevin Spacey at the Old Vic.


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