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Jan Donkers

Jan Donkers - foto Serge Ligtenberg
Jan Donkers - foto Serge Ligtenberg

(Amsterdam, 1943) his career as a writer and journalist is determined by two big passions: pop music and America. In the late 1960s Donkers belonged to the top of Dutch pop journalism. He was a critic for the Volkskrant and worked for Hitweek. In those days he started making programmes for VPRO radio. First mainly pop programmes but later he worked on the foreign desk as well. He left for America early 1970s to report the elections for VPRO and various magazines and newspapers. Those stories were later collected in Amerika, Amerika. In 1974 he and others formed the first editorial staff of the literary magazine Revisor. The next decade he wrote first and foremost travelogues from Africa, Asia and Latin America. In 2006 Mijn muziek (My music) appeared, an overview of his work as a pop journalist including a cd with recordings of his own.

(WIN 2010)

Archive available for: Jan Donkers

  • Winternachten 2011 – Winternacht 1

    The Beauty of the Life of the Other

    The Turkish-American Elif Batuman wanted to become a writer, but didn't feel at home in the traditional approach of the creative writing course. She decided to study literature and noticed gradually that an academic approach didn't stand in the way of love for literature. Truth and beauty appeared to be one and the same thing eventually. She wrote the collection of essays The Possessed about it, with true stories about the lives of the Russian classics. K. Schippers on the other hand shows in his work that there is no reality, only points of view. His latest book, De bruid van Marcel Duchamp (Marcel Duchamp's bride), is a quest for the most renowned work of the French-American artist Marcel Duchamp – the big glass entitled The Bride Undressed by Her Bachelors – in which Schippers allows fantasy to run free. Jan Donkers talks to the writers about the beauty of reality and the way in which other people's lives can serve as a driving wheel for one's own imagination. English spoken.

  • Winternachten 2010 – Winternachten 2

    The limits of chaos

    Sometimes it seems that art comes into being primarily where order has been removed. But maybe even the most disorganising artist needs footing. With his music cellist Ernst Reijsiger skims along the limits of what his instrument has to offer in terms of possibilities. Ramsey Nasr, poet laureate, in poems like Mi Have een Droom (Me Have a Dream) explores the limits of Dutch as a language, and being an actor and a director he often finds himself in the grey area of text and improvisation.
    With Jan Donker as host, these two artists talk about rules and chaos and the assumed freedom during improvisation. How chaotic can and must one be. Which rule will they never break? A programme full of recitation and unsettling music. In Dutch