Authors / Remco Campert

Remco Campert

Remco Campert

© Cleo Campert

Remco Campert (b. 1929) son of the poet Jan Campert, started the literary magazine Braak (Waste) in 1950, together with Rudy Kousbroek. In 1951, his first volume of poetry, Vogels vliegen toch (Birds Fly Anyhow) was an instant and widespread success. In these early poems a theme is introduced that has remained dominant throughout his later work: poetry taking a stand against reality. Campert’s first novel, Het leven is vurrukkulluk (Life is Yummy), was published in 1961. It’s theme, the failure, ultimately, of love’s ideal, is expressed in an airy manner, melacholy filtering through irony and word-play. Through the years Remco Campert has achieved ever more simplicity in his writing. With it’s short sentences, plain words and a minimum of metaphor his work, in style as well as in subject matter, stands close to real life. The past years Een liefde in Parijs (A Love in Paris) and Het satijnen hart (The Satin Heart), Dagboek van een poes (Diary of a Cat) and Hôtel du Nord (Hotel du Nord) have been published among other work.

In addition to his vast literary output, Campert contributed to many magazines and newspapers. The columns he has been writing for the frontpage of De Volkskrant, in daily alternation with Jan Mulder over the last few years, are immensely popular and have for the most part been published as books.


Here is the master at work. – Het Parool

As a prose-writer Campert is an extremist: every word is weight on pros and cons, every sentence is one. A love is Paris is a beautiful, melancholic document. – De Groene Amsterdammer

The language in which Campert writes this virulent masterpiece, is of a beautiful simplicity. A surprisingly beautiful book, which can easily stand the comparison with books written by Nicole Krauss or Coetzee. In short: a novel of international stature. - Financieel Dagblad about The Satin Heart

With Diary of a Cat Remco Campert added a cheerful gem to the literary knowledge of cats. – De Morgen about Diary of a Cat