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Tijs Goldschmidt

Tijs Goldschmidt - foto Hans Aarsman
Tijs Goldschmidt - foto Hans Aarsman

(Amsterdam, NL 1953) is an evolutionary biologist and a writer. In his essays he presents himself as the missing link between the arts and the sciences. Again and again he places science in a broader cultural framework. In his collections of essays Vis in Bad (Fish in the Bath, 2014) and Kloten van de engel (Angels' Balls; 2007) he shows that culture is often much more natural than we think. In september 2016 a collection of his essays, The Other Left Side will be published by Seven Stories Press in New York. After graduation Goldschmidt left for Tanzania for five years to study cichlids (Percidae) in Lake Victoria. That study resulted in a Ph.D. thesis and a book combining his scientific findings with personal experiences: Darwin's Dreampond (1994). This debut was translated in English, French, German, Japanese and Chinese, among others. In 1993 Goldschmidt decided to give up his academic career to become a fulltime writer. In 2007 he delivered the Huizinga Lecture in Leiden entitled Pretending to pretend. Since 2009, Tijs Goldschmidt is advisor to the State Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam.


Archive available for: Tijs Goldschmidt

  • Winternachten 2014

    Writers Fest 2014

    With: Aad Meinderts, Alfred Schaffer, Antjie Krog, Bettine Vriesekoop, Elsbeth Etty, Francis Broekhuijsen, Geert Mak, Huub van der Lubbe, Jaap Goedegebuure, Jan Paul Schutten, Marjolein de Jong, Micha Hamel, Oek de Jong, Ronald Snijders, Tijs Goldschmidt, Tiziano Perez, Tom Lanoye

    The Writers' Fest is the festive conclusion of the festival with a programme full of writers and other guests. The line-up consists of among others the Dutch poet Alfred Schaffer, Geert Mak, the South African poet Antjie Krog, Tom Lanoye, literary critic Elsbeth Etty, flute player Ronald Snijders and singer/poet Huub van der Lubbe.

    The Writers' Fest includes the award winning ceremony of the Jan Campert Prizes, the literary prizes of the City of The Hague, with the presentation of the Constantijn Huygens Oeuvre Prize. The winner is Tom Lanoye. The South African writer Antjie Krog will do a eulogy on him and we'll hear Lanoye's words of thanks.

    The F. Bordewijk Prize goes to Pier en Oceaan (Jetty and Ocean) by Oek de Jong. The novel will be praised by Jaap Goedegebuure. Composer and poet Micha Hamel is recipient of the Jan Campert Prize for his book of poetry Bewegend doel (Moving Target). Bettine Vriesekoop will recommend the book to us. The Nynke van Hichtum Prize for children's literature goes to Het raadsel van alles wat leeft (The Riddle of Everything Alive) by Jan Paul Schutten. Writer and biologist Tijs Goldschmidt will sing the praise of that book.

    A programme in co-operation with the Dutch Foundation for Literature and the Jan Campert Foundation. The earlier announced performance of Anne Vegter has been cancelled for health reasons.

    In Dutch.

  • Winternachten 2009 – Winternachten vrijdagavond

    Wintercafé 4: You don't know what you see

    Two scientists on the question 'what is the function of our manipulative brain?' Psychologist Katinka van der Kooij investigates how our brain falsifies reality nonstop. In her recently published book of short stories Without Exit she gratefully uses man's imaginative and interpretative capacity. Evolutionary biologist Tijs Goldschmidt in his latest book Angels' Balls writes the story'Koko en Kafka', about manipulating reality in pseudo-scientific animal documentaries. Both writers werel reading from their work and busied themselves with the question if we can survive without manipulation.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In search of the independent mind - part 3

    The evening closes with a discussion between all the participants of the search. Perhaps from this they can come to some conclusions as to how independent thinking can be protected. And last but not least Samuel Beckett's vision on human thinking: actor Paul Röttger plays Lucky's monologue from Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot. Michaël Zeeman chairs the discussion. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2006 – WINTERNACHT 1

    In search of the independent mind - part 2

    In the second part of the search visual artist Marlene Dumas, biologist Tijs Goldschmidt and composer Theo Loevendie discuss the (im)possibility of autonomous creation. Maybe we should take our lead from such eminant autonomous creators as the painting ape Congo and the carefree composing birds around us? Michaël Zeeman chairs the discussion. Dutch spoken.

  • Winternachten 2005

    VPRO'S O.V.T. (imperfect past tense) - live from Winternachten

    With: Mathijs Deen, Michiel van Kempen, Paul van der Gaag, Pierre Lauffer Ensemble, Tijs Goldschmidt, Wim Rutgers

    This historical radio programme from the VPRO is one of the most popular programmes on Radio 1. This time it will broadcast live from The Hague as part of the Winternachten programme. Literary- historical subjects will be handled. One of the guests is Kees Lagerberg, a specialist in the recent history of West-Papua. The historical perception of 'The West' as seen by Dutch writers is the subject of the anthology Noordoostpassanten (North East transients), which will be published today. This anthology is compiled by Michael van Kempen, expert on Surinam literature, together with Wim Rutgers, expert on Antillean and Aruban literature. Another guest is biologist and writer Tijs Goldschmidt. Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Looking away - Tijs Goldschmidt

    Recently the biologist and writer Tijs Goldschmidt put together an exhibition of photo's entitled Wegkijken (Looking away), these are photo's which depict the emotion of shame. For Winternachten he made a selection of film fragments that also cause you to avert your eyes. Subject is: how human are the apes, and how unhuman do humans treat them? How did the ape Coco Mdume learn to talk? How did Canzi the bonobo make telephone calls? What is done to the gorilla's in Ruanda? Fragments from films like 'Ape Hunters', by Jeremy Bristow, a movie that received the 'Green Oscar' at the International Wild Screen Festival in Bristol.
    Dutch spoken

  • Winternachten 2005 – WINTERNACHT 2

    Beyond description

    For some people those golden rocket tits, designed by Gaultier for Madonna, were beyond description. Writers Troy Blacklaws (South Africa), Tijs Goldschmidt, Eddin Khoo (Malaysia) and Bas Heijne choose an image from their country or culture that is banned or should be banned and explain their choices. Michaël Zeeman is the presenter.
    English spoken