June 28, 2009

Hans Koning’s aphorisms online

Filed under: Literature by Branko Collin @ 10:36 am

Hans Koning (1921 – 2007) was one of that rare breed, an author who successfully traded his native tongue for another, in this case Dutch for English. A member of the Dutch resistance and a writer for the Groene Amsterdammer weekly, Koning emigrated to the USA in 1951. His publisher has put his book of aphorisms online, Hans Koning’s Little Book of Comforts & Gripes:

The tool for judging by those who don’t understand a thing about the arts is: categorizing. “What kind of books do you write?” they ask. “What kind of painting do you do?” It may seem harmless until art becomes dependent on money controlled by these ignorant men. Recently some people made a motion picture ‘based’ on Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment.” They hadn’t really understood much of the book and the film was a disaster. Now Hollywood producers know that “Dostoyevsky movies don’t sell.”

(Slide 53. It’s a pity that the book is published as images rather than text, and that it is riddled with spelling errors.)

See also: his New York Times obituary; his ever changing Wikipedia entry.

(Via Eamelje.)

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