Stupid without a penny in Bethaniënstraat

Last century an anthology ‘Domweg gelukkig in de Dapperstraat, de bekendste gedichten’ collected by one C.Aarts and M.C. van Etten appeared with great regularity. And each new edition is again sent to all review sites, this time the difference from previous version is the inclusion of a verse by Heytze about corona.

It forced me to google who this C.Aarts actually is, as no one seemed to have heard of him. I found myself in a dingy living room full of smoke, two hippies staring at me, both with the imprint of the chillum still in their cheeks. The living room where probably Koos Koets had the genius idea to devote the rest of his life to listing ‘the best known of the best known’.

(This is a familiar phenomenon with cannabis. The intoxicating substance lures your mind into a kind of ‘car park’ and ‘the visible world’ already seems like a lot in that condition, e.g. ‘rastafaris’ read the Bible stoned which creates an alternative religion without having to actually write one).

Aarts went to the 10th edition of the Night of Poetry in his denim jacket and asked some visitors at the exit ‘which poems they knew’. He then spent some time ‘poring over’ the three anthologies in our country. Well. Anyone who thinks highly of this kind of ‘fame’ will undoubtedly rush to the shop to buy this poem by Heytze, who, incidentally, was still in nappies at the time of the survey, but undoubtedly already knew how to babble his own name from the pram at that exit.

By M.C. van Etten, I could only find a cheerful book about Lord Jesus, and nothing about the person.

So if you are slightly less fond of famous Dutchmen and if, like me, you are of the opinion that cannabis use causes a kind of psychotic obsession with ‘fame’, you would do better to buy a real anthology, which you will have to wait for some time yet because Komrij is dead and Pfeijffer is too much of a big earner to be interested in this noble art to be able to get a white elephant’s foot in everybody’s door.

However, the cheerful confetti cover does suit this corona time and McDonalds children’s book week perfectly. On to the next celebrity, in exactly one year’s time!

Martijn Benders has published twenty-six books, eighteen of which are in Dutch. He has been named one of the greatest talents of his time by critics like Komrij and Gerbrandy. He has also written three philosophical works, one of which is in English about the Amanita Muscaria, the Fly Agaric. Publishing on the international stage of The Philosophical Salon, he has also gained international recognition as one of the most remarkable thinkers from the Netherlands.