A.F.Th. van der Heijden
(1951, Geldrop) is regarded as one of the greatest postwar Dutch writers. He wrote two cycles of novels. In his second cycle Homo Duplex the novels Movo Tapes (2003), Drijfzand Koloniseren (2006) and Het Schervengericht (2007) appeared. In the last book A.F.Th. tells about the great director Roman Polanski, who ends up in a Californian prison, in the same unit as the murderer of his wife and unborn child. For the cycle he abridged his name to A.F.Th. In 2007 appeared Mim, a novella on the occasion of the 80th birthday of Harry Mulisch. Between 1983 and 1996 he published The Toothless Time, which is regarded as the core of his oeuvre and as the most famous cycle in Dutch literature. He has also published other work, for instance Engelenplaque (2003)a diary (1966 to 2003). His work has been awarded several times, with, among others, the F. Bordewijk-prize and the Multatuli-prize. A.F.Th. made his debut in 1978 using the pseudonym Patrizio Canaponi.(WU 2012 GR)
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In his latest novel, winning him the prestigious Dutch Ako-literatuurprijs, A.F.Th. van der Heijden plays a unique and complex game with data from the life of film maker Roman Polanski. De murder of Polanski's wife, actress Sharon Tate, by Charles Manson and his sect members is told in the novel from a very moving perspective. Van der Heijden is unmistakably gripped by the life and work of the Polish film maker and as a film viewer had been fascinated by how he plays with our fears. For Winternachten he dissects how Polanski in his films builds tension and how he manipulates the audience before striking. The writer selects scenes from Polanski's work, using them to give a verbal 'découpage' of the fear. In Dutch.
Part 2 of the programme lasting a whole evening in the main hall of the theatre, on the imagination of hope. After science literature & architecture are next: does art offer hope? From their own disciplines writer A.F.Th. van der Heijden and architect Sjoerd Soeters will react on this question. Van der Heijden turns our times into a myth, he allows the present to evolve into a universe in which the world of the gods plays a role as well. Soeters gained renown in recent years because of the Haverleij, near Den Bosch, a complex of castles that links up with a new need for safe surroundings. Which expectation for the future emanates from his work? Interview by Michaël Zeeman. In Dutch.