J. J. Voskuil

Jacobus Johannes (Han) Voskuil ( born July 1, 1926 in The Hague; † 1 May, 2008 Amsterdam ) was a Dutch folklorist and writer.


Jacobus Johannes (Han) Voskuil was born on 1 July 1926 in The Hague. His first novel Bij nader inzien ( On closer inspection, 1963) about the friendship with his fellow students, which also already Maarten Koning occurs as the main character, initially found few readers, however, was in the early 1990s "rediscovered", as in the Dutch television a six-part series was aired on motifs of the novel, which was well received by the audience. His actual literary breakthrough had Voskuil, however, only some thirty years after the release of his debut with his second novel Het Bureau ( The Office, 1996-2000 ). Previously, the author in the Netherlands had been more known to a small audience of experts and folklorist, who had made a " scientific officer" at the Meertens Instituut in Amsterdam in particular with the construction of a huge subject catalog to folklore a name.

Even before the publication of the last volume of Het Bureau released another novel, De moeder van Lien Nico ( The mother of Nico Lien, 1999), in which Voskuil writes about life with his demented mother. This was followed by more autobiographical novels about a longtime friend ( Requiem voor een vriend, 2002), and - posthumously - about the love affair with an old girlfriend ( internal de huid, 2009) and on the relationship of the couple Voskuil - or Koning - to her two gay neighbors in the Herengracht in Amsterdam ( De buurman, 2012). In addition, Voskuil two volumes with portraits and memoirs published ( other Onder, 2007 and Jeugdherinneringen, 2010), a series of travel sketches ( Reisdagboek 1981, 2000, Terloops, voettochten 1957-1973, 2004, Buiten Scottish, voettochten 1974-1982, 2005 and Gaandeweg, voettochten 1983-1992, 2006), short texts, diary fragments and a narrative ( bestiary, Kladboek 1955-1956 and avenues op de wereld, all in 2007) and a play ( cafeterias Kinderen, 2008).

Han Voskuil died on 1 May 2008 in Amsterdam. The terminally ill author had wanted to decide the time of his death itself, and therefore asked for euthanasia. Voskuil was married to Lousje Haspers. Both were animal rights activists. In 1997, Voskuil founded the Stichting Varkens in Nood ( Foundation for pigs in distress ), where he was also supported by the well-known Dutch writer Koos van Zomeren. Voskuil has processed many elements from the lives with his wife in his books. Examples include the refusal to own a car, keeping cats, the apartments at the Lijnbaansgracht No. 84 (1956-1969) and the Herengracht No. 60 (1969-2008) in Amsterdam and walking holidays in the Auvergne.

Voskuils first novel Bij nader inzien appeared in 1963. After he retired in 1987, he began in 1990 to write the key novel Het Bureau, where he his thirty years of professional work at the Meertens Instituut literary processed in a kind of professional autobiography. The seven-volume, written in only four and a half years, novel comprises a total of about 5200 pages. The individual volumes were published from 1996 to 2000 and led the Netherlands to a true Bureau mania with long queues at bookstores, fan clubs in factories and offices, and numerous interviews with the author and the literary it handles characters in the novel. 2012 appeared the first volume of Het Bureau cycle under the title director Beerta, in German language. The folklorist Voskuil have said Christoph Bartmann " his scientific tool applied to their own work and the special customs of the office. " In a meeting, when writing his novel In the Netherlands, nearly half a million books in the office saga were sold.

Works (selection)

  • Het Bureau. G. A. van Oorschot, Amsterdam 1996-2000.
  • Meneer Beerta ( Mr. Beerta ), 1996
  • Vuile exist ( Dirty Hands ), 1996
  • Plankton, 1997
  • Het A. P. Beerta - Instituut, 1998
  • En ook weemoedigheid ( And Wehmütigkeit ), 1999
  • Afgang ( departure ), 2000
  • De dood van Maarten Koning ( The death of Maarten Koning ), 2000
  • The office. Director Beerta. Beck, Munich, 2012.