Cees Nooteboom: Dutch traveler and writer

We must think of a Dutch Tabucchi. It’s not easy. But also Cees Nooteboom [pron. Keis Notebom] is a journalist, traveler and lover of the places where he arrives. Like Tabucchi (and Camus) a perennial foreigner (estranged) who feels his foreign places more than those of his homeland. In fact, while Tabucchi died in his adopted homeland Lisbon, Nooteboom has currently moved to the island of Menorca, where he contemplates nature, the memories of his life (sent as a journalist, he has witnessed historical events such as the Second World War, the French May in 1968 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989) and the literary stimuli that fused together create this particular genre (nature, life, literature) which are his books / travel reports / novels. The journey is almost always present, sometimes in the form of a diary as in 365. The book of days, Hyperborea, 2019, sometimes as a report in The sound of his name. Travels in the Islamic world, Ponte delle Grazie, 2001 other times as a real novel as in Lost Paradise, Hyperborea, 2012.

In addition to being dense and dreamlike, his way of writing shows a writer obsessed with dreams and appearance-reality reflection.

Before a novelist or essayist, he defines himself a poet; and in fact his can be defined as a poetic prose, while the poems, collected in Luce, and Il monaco are dense and full of secular spirituality, a religious aspect, even though he is an agnostic, which also returns in his prose perhaps connected with the fact that he was educated for a long time with monks.

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