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Research Biografie Instituut

Biography J.C. Bloem

Bart Slijper (1963) has spent the past few years writing a biography of Bloem under the title Van alle dingen los. Het leven van J.C. Bloem, which was published in May 2007 by Uitgeverij De Arbeiderpers. During the final two years of the project, he worked under the auspices of the Biography Institute, with the guidance of Prof. Dr. G.J. Dorleijn and Prof. Dr. J.W. Renders.

The poet J.C. Bloem (1887-1966) is regarded as one of the most important poets of the twentieth century. In spite of a relatively limited body of work, the disillusionment that characterises his simple yet subtle poetry clearly speaks to many, because his Collected poems are regularly reprinted.

As concentrated and concise as his poems were, so chaotic was his life, which is anything but a disadvantage to a biography. A great part of his life was dominated by insurmountable financial problems and the excessive use of alcohol. Above all, he could never quite get used to the idea that he, just like anybody else, had to generate an income through regular employment, be it as a clerk or a newspaper editor. Due to the insolubility of his problems, this uprooted creature of the nineteenth century escaped into his library, more alcohol and blissful memories of a romanticised past.


Last modified:31 January 2020 2.45 p.m.
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