as of December 2011 is director of De Bezige Bij publishing house. Before that he headed the Nederlandse Letteren Fonds (a merger of the Nederlands Literair Productie- en Vertalingenfonds and the Fonds voor de Letteren), the NLPVF and the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. As director of the Dutch Literary Fund in recent years Pröpper further enlarged a colossal network among writers and foreign publishers. He wrote numerous essays and articles on both Dutch and international literature. He also worked as a journalist, literary critic, editor and editor-in-chief of various cultural television programmes.
Archive available for: Henk Pröpper
Literature as a Way of Seeing
Nigerian journalist/writer Helon Habila opens the festival with a lecture about literature as the art of seeing. Those who witness injustice can look away or walk away. A real writer, argues Habila, can't, because the writer is fascinated by that image and haunted by it until he writes about it. How can literature sharpen our view and increase our empathy? How do fiction and truth relate to each other? In his new novel Oil on Water, Habila exposes the abuses surrounding oil drilling in Nigeria without wagging his finger. The novel won a lot of praise and has been compared to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Soprano Pearlmira Vincent will sing an aria by Antonín Dvořák. Henk Pröpper, director of De Bezige Bij publishing house, and former director of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, will officially open the festival. After Habila's lecture Bas Heijne interviews the writer and chairs a discussion with Jan Brokken and Helon Habila. In English.
Mansoura Ez Eldin (Egypt), had to cancel her performance for family reasons.