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Hubert Lampo

Hubert Lampo (1920-2006) was born in Antwerp and, up until 1944, was a teacher. After his national service, he decided to become a journalist. He also worked as an editor and national inspector for the public library service and played an active role in the Flemish literary sector. In 1973, he became president of the Flemish Literary Association and, in 1989, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Stendhal University in Grenoble for the outstanding quality of his literary work.

Lampo’s vast body of work includes 23 novels, 15 essays, short stories, translations from French and German and numerous articles on art and literature. The Coming of Joachim Stiller is his best known novel, by dint of which he can claim the title of founder of magic realism in Flemish literature.

Strongly influenced by experiences in World War II, humanism, democracy and social engagement are central notions in his writings. Lampo combines these aspects with a remarkable sensitivity to the supernatural and a fascination for the uncanny, thus creating a distinctive and personal style. The blend of fact and fiction in his novels produces a magical realism, a new psychological reality in which he employs elements from parapsychology and psychoanalysis. Unsurprisingly, his novels have been associated with the theories of the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Lampo himself put it as follows: ‘I see magic realism as the phenomenon through which archetypes dormant in the writing are actualised'.