New Dalrymple book: Profeten en Charlatans

Dalrymple has had a new collection of his essays published, this time in Dutch. Amsterdam-based publishing house Nieuw Amsterdam has published “Profeten en Charlatans: Hoe Schrijvers Ons de Wereld Laten Zien” [“Prophets and Charlatans: How Writers Show Us the World”], a collection of Dalrymple’s essays of literary criticism chosen and translated by Jabik Veenbaas. Editor Pieter de Bruijn Kops was kind enough to translate a description of the book for our readers:

Profeten en charlatans, Theodore Dalrymple’s 2009 Dutch language book publication for Amsterdam-based publishing house Nieuw Amsterdam, consists of a selection of 28 essays on literary subjects. They were chosen, translated and provided with an introductory essay by Dutch philosopher, author and translator Jabik Veenbaas. This introduction is titled ‘Theodore Dalrymple en het belang van de literatuur’ [‘Theodore Dalrymple and the importance of literature’]. In it, Veenbaas gives a brief and penetrating analysis of Dalrymple’s unique style and approach in writing about writers, books and the meaning of literature. The essays by Dalrymple have been chosen partly from The New Criterion, in which they were published during the years 1999-2008, partly from one of Dalrymple’s own collections of essays, Not with a Bang But a Whimper. The Politics and Culture of Decline (Ivan R. Dee, Chicago, 2008). In the selected essays, Dalrymple discusses works by writers as diverse as, among others, Burgess, Chekov, Conan Doyle, Kahlil Gibran, Ibsen, Ionesco, Dr. Johnson, Jung, LaRochefoucauld, Kerouac, Somerset Maugham, Pinter, Ezra Pound, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Shakespeare, R.S. Thomas and Tolstoy.

As a collection of essays, Profeten en charlatans has as yet been published in the Dutch language only. All of the essays, except the translator’s introduction, had been published previously – in English that is.

The following essays had been published in The New Criterion, in 1999: ‘Gooseberries’ (‘Kruisbessen’); in 2000: ‘Reticence or insincerity, Rattigan or Pinter’ (‘Terughoudendheid of onoprechtheid, Rattigan of Pinter’), ‘The perils of activism: Ken Saro-Wiwa’ (‘De gevaren van het activisme: Ken Saro-Wiwa’) and ‘W. Somerset Maugham: the pleasures of a master’ (‘W. Somerset Maugham: de genoegens van de meester’); in 2001: ‘Discovering LaRochefoucauld’ (‘La Rochefoucauld ontdekken’); in 2002: ‘Arrested development’ (‘Een tot stilstand gekomen ontwikkeling’); in 2003: ‘Carl Jung: the Madame Blavatsky of psychotherapy’ (‘Carl Jung: de madame Blavatsky van de psychotherapie’); in 2004: ‘Mr. Hyde & the epidemiology of evil’ (‘Meneer Hyde en de epidemiologie van het kwaad’) and ‘Reflections on the oldest profession’ (‘Enige gedachten over het oudste beroep’); in 2005: ‘Chekov & Tolstoy’ (‘Tsjechov en Tolstoj’), ‘Desert-island reading’ (‘Lezen over onbewoonde eilanden’) and ‘Holmes & his commentators’ (‘Holmes en zijn commentatoren’); in 2006: ‘Out of the time machine’ (‘Uit de tijdmachine’) and ‘The enigmatic R.S. Thomas’ (‘De raadselachtige R.S. Thomas’); in 2007: ‘Pound’s depreciation’ (‘De devaluatie van Pound’), ‘Another side of Paradise’ (‘De achterkant van Paradise’), ‘The false prophet’ (‘De valse profeet’) and ‘Diagnosing Lear’ (‘Een diagnose voor Lear’); in 2008: ‘Ionesco & the limits of philosophy’ (‘Ionesco en de grenzen van de filosofie’) and ‘At the forest’s edge’ (‘Aan de rand van het woud’).

The following essays had been published in Not with a Bang But a Whimper (2008): ‘A Prophetic and Violent Masterpiece’ (‘Een profetisch en gewelddadig meesterwerk’), ‘In the Asylum’ (‘In het gesticht’), ‘Ibsen and His Discontents’ (‘Het onbehagen van Ibsen’), ‘A Drinker of Infinity’ (‘Een drinker der oneindigheid’), ‘What the New Atheists Don’t See’ (‘Wat de nieuwe atheïsten niet begrijpen’), ‘The Marriage of Reason and Nightmare’ (‘De verbintenis van rede en nachtmerrie’), ‘The Terrorists Among Us’ (‘De terroristen onder ons’) and ‘What Makes Dr. Johnson Great?’ (‘Waarom is Dr. Johnson groot?’).

12 thoughts on “New Dalrymple book: Profeten en Charlatans

  1. Flossie

    Just for fun, I ran a recent review from a Dutch website through Babblefish. Here’s a portion of the resulting translation:

    “In spite of the fact that there in the choice which peat boss subjects much from the essays of Dalrymple interesting has made the revue passes, especially the picture continues hang of a grumbling old man. This way that with a pipe in its mouth angle mumbles ‘that in former days improve everything was’ and ‘contemporary youth lost is’.”

    That’s pretty much Our Theodore in a nutshell.


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