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The Evening of the Essay - with Christiaan Weijts

When:Th 23-05-2024 20:00 - 21:45
Where:Exhibition room, Harmonie Building, Oude Kijk In 't Jatstraat 26

In early 2023, a small storm swept through the literary world when the CPNB announced that the Book Week essay would be given a different name because the word 'essay' was said to deter readers. This, despite the fact that the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne coined the term some 450 years earlier precisely to introduce a more personal and less academic way of writing, one that draws from personal experience. So, the essay is precisely a way to publicly share personal experience and knowledge.

During this 'Evening of the Essay,' we celebrate the essay as a tool to build bridges and cross boundaries. What actually is an essay? How does it differ from a column, a newspaper article, or an autobiography? Why and for whom are essays written? And what makes a good essay, or a good essayist? These and other questions will be addressed during this 'Evening of the Essay' with Christiaan Weijts, Roos Custers, and Thijs Lijster.

This evening is the launch event of the Essays beyond borders project, a Erasmus+ research project funded by the EU and carried out by the University of Groningen in collaboration with 5 other European universities.


Christiaan Weijts is a novelist, columnist, critic, and essayist. He made his debut as a novelist in 2006 with the novel Art. 285b. Since then, he has written six more novels, the most recent being Furore (2020), which reached a wide audience and won several awards. He regularly writes essays for NRC and De Groene Amsterdammer.

Thijs Lijster is a philosopher and essayist. He has published essay collections such as De grote vlucht inwaarts (The Great Flight Inwards) (2016) and Kijken, proeven, denken (Looking, Tasting, Thinking) (2019), and he regularly contributes to magazines such as De Groene Amsterdammer, Filosofie Magazine, and Rekto:Verso. He is one of the researchers involved in the Essays beyond borders project.

Roos Custers works as an editor at Uitgeverij Passage and Uitgeverij Van Maaskant Haun. Additionally, she co-hosts the Groningen talk show Under the Volcano with Coen Peppelenbos, featuring guests from the arts, literature, and science.

"The Evening of the Essay" is held in Dutch and admission is free.
After the event, you are cordially invited to drinks until 9:45 p.m.
The event is organized in collaboration with
Bookstore Godert Walter .

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