This article was last updated on July 4, 2022
Poet Remco Campert dead at 92.
As Remco Campert put it in his essay, “Poetry is an act of affirmation,” in 1955. The poem’s title, “Life Force,” was meant to convey the idea that for him, writing poetry was akin to living and writing a life. According to this poem, after the last word has been heard, one’s life is gone.
Although Remco Campert is most known for his novels and stories, he considered himself a poet first and foremost. He died at the age of 92 in Amsterdam.
He was messy, disorganized, and absent when he wasn’t writing. Manuela’s scolding of her father was typical: “If you want to get to know me, read my poems,” he said.
As the only child of actress Joekie Broedelet and poet Jan Campert, Remco Campert was raised in a loving home by his parents. In 1932, when Remco was three years old, his father vanished. His mother was a working mother, so she was frequently out of town. Remco Campert was taken in by her parents. He was raised by a foster family in the Veluwe during World War II.
His mother arrived at the Neuengamme concentration camp to inform him of his father’s death. But I knew I had to feel something, and I stared down my mother’s sleeve at the alluring forest, and when I could, I did tell one hundred percent of what was truly on my mind: the bow in front of the rabbit hole, and the cabin in the tree that nobody knew. I didn’t feel anything. “I didn’t start feeling discomfort until much later.”
He later recalled his father’s “the perfume and mild odor of alcohol and cigarettes, which always hovered around him.” It appeared like his father was always on the hunt for a new lover because he was a heavy smoker and drinker.
That’s how the son turned out. Finally, he stated that his father had instilled in him the virtues of “heartlessly following one’s heart” and “women‘s houses” in him.
Remco Campert started in 2003, smoking an unbreakable bond with his cigarette.
After being dismissed from high school for “persevering in idleness” following World War II, Remco Campert became a poet. Rudy Kousbroek accompanied him on the trip to Paris. They stayed in a run-down one-bed room, taking turns sleeping there. During the day, they strolled the city’s streets. When they were on a tight budget, they could only afford one drink a day at the cafe where they would spend hours. In his 2014 novel, Een Liefde in Parijs, Remco Campert would later write with sorrow about Paris.
As a young poet, Remco Campert was regarded as a major figure. He was a member of the Vijftigers, an experimental art collective, but he stood apart from his peers because of his light, airy, and melancholic aesthetic. Unlike other Fifties poets, Remco Campert wrote in colloquialism that the general public could understand.
The novel Het Leven is vurrukkulluk, in which he recounted a day in the life of a group of young people in Amsterdam in 1961, was his breakthrough with the general public. Despite starting to make good money for the first time, his spending constantly outpaced his income.
The hippy girl who gave birth to his two children is now his third wife, Lucia van den Berg. Later on, he said that he’d had a lot of flings but never been in love. He married in an attempt to keep his passions alive, but it was a colossal failure.
Nothing about my marriage to Lucia was an exception to this rule. In their ideal film shots, they are seen strolling in the bright Vondelpark with their daughters, but in fact, they are unable to provide a secure haven for their children. When friends came over, the girls were used to seeing their parents inebriated. Remco departed in 1966 to be with Deborah Wolf, the love of his life.
Here’s a quick look at his life and work:
At the beginning of 1972, he had no financial issues. 50,000 guilders gained him the money to buy an abandoned notary’s home in northern France for the novel Campert Compleet.
After that, things went well for him monetarily, but he was plagued for years by writer’s block and felt glum.
In the 1980s, he emerged from a state of sluggishness that had eluded him for decades. To represent both the societal and personal turmoil of those times, he developed the figure of Somberman. A combination of Somberman’s drunkenness and his incapacity to accomplish anything gave him the impression that his life had no point.
As a result of the 1985 Book Week Gift, “Somberman’s Action,” Somberman has become an iconic literary character. A newfound reputation and fortune allowed Campert to buy a property in Amsterdam, just behind the Concertgebouw, with the cafe Welling “within crawling distance.”
Even though he was still lethargic, he was happy to be able to write again. For comic book reading nights, he and his friend Jan Mulder crisscrossed the country in 1989.
For 10 years starting in 1996, the pair CaMu contributed a daily piece to the Volkskrant as CaMu. It was three days a week for each of them. Stability came from that. Because he frequently wrote about personal experiences and insights, the readers of the Volkskrant empathized with him.
People like Drs. Mallebrootje, the fictitious “Member of Parliament from Elst,” who shared his views on politics and life with “the young things from the rank and file,” were also invented by Ca.
He married Deborah in 1996, making it a significant year. She’d been with other men before, but when they reconnected, they chose to stick together “because at some point you’re fucked.”
He would spend the remainder of his days typing out his songs, which he had written on a typewriter, while smoking an unbreakable cigarette.
As far back as I can remember, Remco Campert’s demeanor had stayed childlike. For the previous two decades, he had been a feeble old guy who shuffled around on the street, slumped over. He wrote a lot about death in his poetry. So, in Licht van mijn leven, he wrote of traversing the streets of Amsterdam “till in a blinking instant life would let go of me.”
Finally, “I’d want to fly above the Stedelijk and the Vondelpark trees, and then I’d like to be dissolved into the city’s fine dust,” he said in his letter.
In his mind, she had always been an unreachable woman. In the same way, the source of my own personal light dimmed when I met such a woman. “The smiles and fantasies of the girl I once saw at a tram stop” would “carry him away.”
His own preparations for dying were similarly extensive. In the Amsterdam Zorgvlied cemetery, Remco Campert and Deborah purchased a plot of land many years ago. He claimed to have gone looking in 2013: “It was a gorgeous day, and the grave looked stunning in the sunshine.” I was nearly enthused by the prospect. “