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The comforts of looking


Bernard Dewulf

Bernard Dewulf has written countless essays, contemplative pieces and columns over recent years that together give an impression of what the discovery of beauty can do to a human life. His penetrating gaze is inquiring, erotic, analytical and sympathetic, and it always contains an element of surprise.

‘Raptures’ is a comprehensive collection of published pieces by this talented observer. He aims to describe in an accessible way the enchantment he feels when looking at paintings, drawings and photographs, whether by contemporaries or old masters, or indeed at the ever-changing fortunes of his family environment. He tries again and again to put into words the enticement we sometimes feel when we look at things. ‘Seeing is the story; looking is the writing.’

With Dewulf, profundity is right on the surface. For anyone taking the trouble to look closely, it is deep enough.
Libris Literature Prize jury

 Bernard Dewulf ‘sees’ only at the point when he finds the right words. He focuses on the surroundings of the image, where the curiosity and prudishness of the viewer, the dynamics of distance and intimacy all do their work. These personal contemplations often verge upon poetry. Dewulf has for many years been a poet with a sharp eye, intense and full of empathy.