Writer and radio programme and documentary filmmaker Mathijs Deen is the new Guest Writer for the University of Groningen from 2021-2022. Over the course of three lectures and a public interview, he will explore the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction, discuss his penchant for tacit prose and describe the influence of living and dead nature on his characters. Alongside this, he will hold seminars for a selected group of students.
During the opening evening on 13 September 2021, Professor of Modern Dutch Literature Mathijs Sanders will host a conversation with Mathijs Deen on his work, his background and his passion for literature, radio, fiction, non-fiction and everything in between. In the following three public lectures, Deen will discuss three different topics: the boundaries between fiction and non- fiction, tacit prose and the influence of living and dead nature on his characters. In seminars led by Deen, students will explore the no-man’s-land between fiction and non-fiction.
Mathijs Deen was born in Hengelo, Twente, and grew up in Boekelo. He studied Dutch in Groningen, where he learned to make radio programmes at Radio Noord and taught in the department of Dutch Studies at the University of Groningen for four years. His first published story (aside from those in the school newspapers for which he wrote) was published in the literary journal Schrijver en Caravan. Passage publishing house published his first books. For many, Mathijs Deen has become a trusted voice through the documentaries that he has made for the VPRO radio station and the audiobooks that he has recorded. Both in his most recent book Over oude wegen [Down Old Roads], in which he writes about the roads connecting Europe, as in the hailed De Wadden, in which farmers, Romanian warlords, Frisians, pirates, refugees, fortune hunters, occupiers and bathers play a role, Mathijs uses unexpected characters and events to connect the past and present from different places with one another in an appealing manner. Through this, he allows every reader to experience something new and brings history to life in a whirling manner.
Since 1986, the University of Groningen has appointed a Guest Writer each autumn, who gives public lectures and a series of seminars. Previous guest writers at the University of Groningen include Dick Hillenius, Doeschka Meijsing, Willem Wilmink, Monica van Paemel, Willem Jan Otten, Gerrit Krol, Nelleke Noordervliet, Bernlef, Rutger Kopland, Joost Zwagerman, Thomas Rosenboom, Bas Heijne, Koos van Zomeren, Tonnus Oosterhoff, Marjolijn Februari, Esther Jansma, Kader Abdolah, Arthur Japin, Annejet van der Zijl, Hans Aarsman, Marjoleine de Vos, Joost de Vries, Ellen Deckwitz, Auke Hulst, Edward van de Vendel and Joke van Leeuwen.
The Guest Writer programme is organized by the University of Groningen and Studium Generale Groningen.
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