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Arts and literature

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  • Sound
    Sound
    Sound
    A passionate account about the intangible of music
    Mauro Pawlowski, musician

    Music is able to move people, to ease their pain, or simply to make them want to dance. But what do we experience exactly listening to Chopin, Pink Floyd or Bob Dylan? Which features characterize our musical experience?

  • Cover The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    Cover The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    The Age of Charlie Chaplin
    The alternation between zooming in to focus on the films and panning out to the world stage works well.
    De Standaard

    Matthijs de Ridder gives a sparkling account of an artist who was able to embody all the important themes of the 20th century. Using new sources, he casts a fresh glance over the life and work of Chaplin. At the same time, ‘The Age of Charlie Chaplin’ is a phenomenal cultural history of a turbulent period that defines our worldview to this very day.

  • Cover Andalusian Logbook
    Cover Andalusian Logbook
    Andalusian Journal
    He embodies his perspective, which is analytic and constantly eager to learn
    NRC Handelsblad

    Forgotten celebrities, hidden masterpieces and unique areas of nature. This logbook is a colourful collection of notes and impressions, experiences and stories about the nature, culture, history and people of Andalusia.

    With the inquisitive gaze that characterises all his works, Stefan Brijs takes a first look at the riches of his new home port.

  • Cover Beyond the Borders
    Cover Beyond the Borders
    Beyond the Borders
    ‘Beyond the Borders’ reads like an ode to the unfathomability of human relationships.
    De Standaard

    'Beyond the Borders’ is an account of Meulemans' fascinating literary pilgrimage, digging into the history of  the American author Glenway Wescott (1901-1987). Right from the very first page this book whisks the reader away to a now-forgotten literary and artistic world in America before and after the Second World War. Gradually, the lives of Meulemans and Wescott become ever more intertwined. Is friendship beyond death possible?

  • Cover Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    Cover Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    Berlin. Life in a Divided City
    With his talent for well-balanced, focused writing, De Moor now occupies an unrivalled position within Dutch-language literature.
    Knack

    How did the Nazis poison the bustling life of the city? Which communist absurdities were the residents of East Berlin confronted with in the GDR? How did the city transform after ‘die Wende’?

    In ‘Berlin. Life in a Divided City’, Piet de Moor goes in search of the soul of the mythical metropolis, a city that suffered like no other during the violent history of the 20th century. The result is an informative and kaleidoscopic book that is truly worth reading.

  • Cover The End of The World
    Cover The End of The World
    The End of the World. A History
    Stroeykens, a physicist at heart, has thought of everything.
    KIJK Magazine

    What might the end of the world really look like? Should we be worried about the climate, mutating viruses, artificial intelligence and asteroid impacts? Or is that fear just as irrational as that of the medieval cultists who constantly expected another biblical flood to wash away the world?

    ‘The End of the World’ is a fascinating history of catastrophes, fears and nightmares.

  • Cover Late Days
    Cover Late Days
    Late Days
    Dewulf’s writing succeeds in making the mundane new again.
    Trouw

    No matter what Bernard writes about, he sees the world like a photographer, and analyses each moment in a unique, almost philosophical way. These ‘Late Days’ are marked by melancholy, as parenting increasingly makes way for ticking time.

  • Cover Pieter Bruegel
    Cover Pieter Bruegel
    Pieter Bruegel
    Huet’s writing is quite simply superb: elegant, colourful, lively, with great feeling for detail, witty and never condescending.
    Kees 't Hart

    Of all the art of the Flemish School, the work of Pieter Bruegel (1525?-1569) seems most typical of the Low Countries. His familiar and much loved paintings turned him into a folkloric icon, even if that does not entirely square with his life story. Leen Huet has written the first proper biography of the sixteenth-century master.

  • Cover Dubious Matters
    Cover Dubious Matters
    Dubious Matters
    Cultural products marked as obscene always also make food for thought
    Rudi Laermans

    The obscene in this book refers to more than only the sexually offensive: the forbidden generates fear and contains a mixture of fear and lust.

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

    '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.

  • Cover Perfectly Tailored
    Cover Perfectly Tailored
    Perfectly Tailored
    In Lauwaert’s hands the essay has found an innovator
    Koen Brams

    'Perfectly Tailored' is a collection of Dirk Lauwaert’s most important writings about fashion, clothing and film costumes. He writes just as brilliantly about the hilarious aspects of a pattern as about the impudence of Helmut Newton, or about the ethereal Audrey Hepburn in a Givenchy twopiece.

  • Cover Organ Man
    Cover Organ Man
    Organ Man
    Words fail me. This is a book you will never forget.
    Geert Mak

    If there was ever a man who rose from the ashes like a phoenix then it was the painter Felix Nussbaum. Mark Schaevers follows Nussbaum on his wanderings through the Nazi years, from Rome to the Italian Riviera, from Paris to Ostend and Brussels.

  • Cover The Comfort of Beauty
    Cover The Comfort of Beauty
    The Comfort of Beauty
    A perfectly accomplished anthology of moving testimonies from literary and other sources.
    Biblion

    In deeply personal letters, displaying an impressive knowledge of the subject, Piet Chielens and his brother Wim correspond about the war poems of John McCrae, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and many other soldiers who fought in Flanders Fields and found comfort in writing poetry.

  • Cover The Age of Brussels
    Cover The Age of Brussels
    The Age of Brussels
    An effervescent portrait of the artistically and politically foaming city Brussels was between 1850 and 1914.
    Cobra.be

    Refugees and adventurers, thinkers and doers, finders and inventors washed ashore in this elegant city where life was good - ask Baudelaire, Marx, Rodin, Ensor, Multatuli and all those others, read it in the writings of Teirlinck or Van de Woestijne.

  • Cover Rebellious Rhythms
    Cover Rebellious Rhythms
    Rebel Rhythms
    A gorgeous voyage of discovery
    Bert Van Raemdonck

    No better soundtrack for a political and cultural history of the twentieth century than jazz. In 'Rebellious Rhythms' Matthijs de Ridder starts on a hazardous search through an age of jazz and jazzy literature.

  • Cover France Trilogy
    Cover France Trilogy
    France Trilogy
    An impassioned literary pilgrim
    NRC Handelsblad

    The 'France Trilogy' is a tribute to literature and an original ode to the most important of life’s pleasures.

  • Cover About the Friend
    Cover About the Friend
    About the Friend
    Few authors combine that much knowledge with such a pleasant and accessible style.
    Erik Lindner

    Using images and texts taken from literature, philosophy, art, the internet and popular culture, Piet Joostens goes in search of the figure of the friend and how it relates to friendship.

  • Cover Chanson
    Cover Chanson
    Chanson
    An ambitious and harmonious get together of touristic guide, history lesson and good stories.
    Radio 1

    Bart Van Loo’s declaration of intent opens a highly original and enjoyable alternative history of France in the light of French chansons. By combining an erudite knowledge of French music and historical facts Bart Van Loo constructs fascinating and unexpected connections.

  • Cover The Mobilization of Arcadia
    Cover The Mobilization of Arcadia
    The Mobilization of Arcadia
    A thoroughly impressive book.
    De Groene Amsterdammer

    The theme that unites all the essays in ‘The Mobilization of Arcadia’ is our romantic and Christian longing for Arcadia, an imaginary place that acquired a new meaning with the arrival of modernity.

  • Cover Darwin's Notebooks
    Cover Darwin's Notebooks
    Darwin's Notebooks
    A supremely readable book on Darwin’s field notebooks, pocket notebooks, diaries, letters, and sketches.
    NRC Handelsblad

    In a vivid way, Dirk Van Hulle tells us how Darwin was strongly influenced by poets and writers from the Romantic period: Wordsworth, Shelley, and through them, Milton and his 'Paradise lost'.

  • Cover Beethoven
    Cover Beethoven
    Beethoven
    An outstanding achievement
    Vrij Nederland

    This biography will appeal to a broad audience of music lovers and to anyone interested in cultural history.

  • Cover James Ensor
    Cover James Ensor
    James Ensor
    A magnificent style – scholarly but vivid and punchy
    Ons Brussel

    James Ensor (1860–1949) was everything in one: cocky and solitary, baron and bohemian, a misunderstood bourgeois, a peintre maudit who surveyed the world from his ivory tower in Ostend and sought refuge in the salons of Brussels. Min peels away the mask of the mythmaker to create a wonderful portrait of this enigmatic and multi-faceted painter.

  • Cover Europe, Oh Europe!
    Cover Europe, Oh Europe!
    Europe, Oh Europe!
    Buelens has written a brilliant and accessible book about the hyperbole of the Great War.
    De Volkskrant

    In' Europe, oh Europe!' Buelens describes how Europe was shooting itself to pieces while desperately seeking a new identity. It is a book about the destructive and healing power of the word, a chunk of lively cultural history and a meditation on nationalism and international cooperation.

  • Cover Psychogenocide
    Cover Psychogenocide
    Psychogenocide
    A terribly beautiful book
    Paul Verhaeghe

    On October 1st 1939, the day World War II started, Hitler permitted doctors to kill patients suffering from neurologic and psychiatric disorders. This was the start of Aktion T4, the systematic and industrial killing of handicapped and mentally ill people.

  • Cover The Plague
    Cover The Plague
    The Plague
    A talented writer, original and funny, who is definitely one to watch
    Le Monde

    While working on his thesis, David Van Reybrouck came across the accusation that the Belgian writer and Nobel Prize winner Maurice Maeterlinck had plagiarised from the work of the South African author Eugène Marais. ‘The Plague’ sweeps the reader along in a thrilling literary adventure, which leaves its image on the mind’s eye long after the last page has been turned.

  • Cover Intercities
    Cover Intercities
    Intercities
    The great charm of this book lies in its explosive mix of opinion and storytelling.
    El Pais

    The result is a beautiful balance between intellectual understanding and personal impressions. His great strength is his ability to keep his eyes open in all circumstances and to surprise himself with the realization that ‘travelling often turns out to be a process of finding what you weren’t looking for’.

  • Cover A Longing for Inconsolability
    Cover A Longing for Inconsolability
    A Longing for Inconsolability
    She is the only philosopher writing in Dutch who can make philosophy not just nonacademic and understandable but moving.
    Herman De Coninck

    The great value of Patricia De Martelaere's essays ultimately lies in what makes them rise above philosophical debate. Whereas philosophers like to make readers furrow their brows as deeply as possible, the author excels at laying out a clear line of argument, avoiding jargon and applying convincing logic.