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Douwe Draaisma

Douwe Draaisma - foto Sake Elzinga
Douwe Draaisma - foto Sake Elzinga

(1953) is a special professor in the history of psychology at the University of Groningen. His graduate thesis De metaforenmachine (The Metaphor Machine) explores the metaphorical nature of the language we use to think and speak about memory. His monograph Ontregelde geesten (Disordered Spirits) deals with famous historic neurologists and psychiatrists like Parkinson, Korsakov, Alzheimer, Gilles de la Tourette and Asperger. To date, Draaisma has published four books about autobiographical memory, including the multiple prize-winning titles Waarom het leven sneller gaat als je ouder wordt (Why Life Goes Faster As You Grow Older, 2001)and Als mijn geheugen mij niet bedriegt (If Memory Serves Me Right, 2016).

(WN 2019)

Archive available for: Douwe Draaisma

  • Winternachten 2019

    Feast of Writers

    With: Aad Meinderts, Annemarie Estor, Douwe Draaisma, Hans Aarsman, Hassnae Bouazza, Jan van Aken, Jenny Arean, Maartje Meijer, Marja Pruis, Mathilde Santing, Maxime Garcia Diaz, Nelleke Noordervliet, Pauline Krikke, Robert van Asten, Sumai Yahya

    Appearances by singer, cabaret artist and actress Jenny Arean (accompanied on piano by Peter van der Zwaag), singer Mathilde Santing (accompanied by musicians Bastiaan Mulder and Guus Bakker), memory psychologist and author Douwe Draaisma, jazz pianist and composer Maartje Meijer and photographer and writer Hans Aarsman made this a fantastic Schrijversfeest edition.

    They performed to honour the winners of the literary prizes that the Jan Campert Foundation awarded on behalf of the City of The Hague. These were handed out during this Winternachten festival afternoon by the Mayor of The Hague, Pauline Krikke, and Robert van Asten, alderman for mobility, culture and strategy.

    The Schrijversfeest was opened by young poet Maxime Garcia Diaz who reads from her own work. Then high-school students recited their poetry written during workshops at school. Among them Sumai Yahya, who won the Young Campert Prize last year. The audience decided which of three student nominees won this award for a young Hague poet this time.

    Nelleke Noordervliet received the Constantijn Huygens Prize for her complete oeuvre. Since 1987 she has published a large number of novels, novellas, stories, essays and radio commentaries. Themes of historic ties, freedom, the collective and responsibility characterize her work. Her latest novel is Aan het eind van de dag (At the End of the Day, 2016)

    Jan van Aken received the F. Bordewijk Prize for his novel De ommegang (The Procession). It takes place in Europe during the year 1400, "a time when fierceness prevails, death is always lurking, and the equally brilliant and opportunistic protagonist attempts to defend his position so that he can build a cathedral", according to the jury.

    Annemarie Estor received the Jan Campert Prize for Niemandslandnacht (No-Man's-Land Night). This swirling prose poem, which reveals itself further at every reading, evokes a world that is both surreal and contemporary.

    The biannual J. Greshoff Prize went to Marja Pruis for her essay collection Genoeg nu over mij (Enough Now about Me). "I" must deserve you, writes the journalist, critic and writer. She certainly deserves this prize for her full-out and unabashed thinking and writing.

    This programme is a collaboration with the Jan Campert Foundation / Literature Museum.

  • Winternachten 2007 – WINTERNACHT 2

    In search of the soul. Part 1: Science

    'Your soul is something holy, she has been breathed in by God and as she gets older she grows little hairs.' That's how the soul was thought of in the Middle Ages. But what is the present state of affairs, is she still breathed in by God, and if so: by which one? Can the soul be explained biologically, even if we can no longer count on it that she weighs 21 grams? Is the soul only to be found in art, or is it that devitalization yields better art? Writers, scientists, philosophers, religious experts and artists were in search of the soul. An expedition in three parts.

    Strictly speaking there is no evidence whatsoever as to the existence of the soul. From three scientific disciplines a quest for the soul therefore is an impossible task. Midas Dekker lead the way. He did so with a story about body and soul which he has written specially for Winternachten. Douwe Draaisma, professor of the history of psychology and writer Désanne van Brederode did each react from their own field of study. The three of them came to a better understanding of the biological, neurological and ethical values of the soul. Dutch spoken.