Wednesday 19 March 2008

Hugo Claus, the greatest poet of Flanders, is dead at 78

The writer Hugo Claus has died at the age of 78. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease for some time and had asked to undergo euthanasia.

Claus was a universal artist: he wrote poetry and novels, painted and made films.

The character of his work is particularly diverse. He combined the banal and the burlesque with tragedy.

Often classical themes return: love for the mother, hatred of the father, Roman Catholicism and Flanders during and after the war.

His most famous work is Het Verdriet van Belgiƫ (The Sorrow of Belgium, 1983), an epic tale of Flanders under Nazi occupation.
Read the rest on

An excellent selections of his poems in English, Greetings, was published in 2005. It is a book that return to again and again, and I recommend it.

Here is a profile of Hugo Claus that contains some poems you can read online.

The Associated Press

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