Stefan Hertmans





A collection of philosophical travel stories


Intercities is an erudite collection of philosophical travel stories about cities

including Vienna, Dresden, Trieste, Venice and Sydney. The title reflects both

the passion with which the writer tries to uncover the meaning behind the

facade of each city he visits and the intellectual power that lies at the heart of

his stories. In his travels Hertmans continually draws upon world literature: in

Vienna he walks in Kafka’s footsteps, in Trieste he encounters Svevo, Joyce

and Winckelmann, and in the reconstructed centre of Dresden he meets the

hero of one of Harry Mulisch’s novels. ¶ The author of a substantial oeuvre,

Hertmans is perpetuating the Renaissance tradition of the Grand Tour. As the

writer approaches the end of his journey, the cities melt together and reflect

one another in his mind. The result is a beautiful balance between intellectual

understanding and personal impressions. His great strength is his ability

to keep his eyes open in all circumstances and to surprise himself with the

realization that ‘travelling often turns out to be a process of finding what you

weren’t looking for’.

Stefan Hertmans (b. 1951) made his name as a poet and essayist,

but he has also written extraordinary travelogues and plays, and

his novels and collections of short stories have been consistently

praised by the critics. The quality of his work has won him awards

in both the Netherlands and Flanders, including the Belgian State

Prize for poetry in 1995 and the five-yearly essay prize awarded by

the Royal Academy for Dutch Language and Literature.

Pages 256 pp

Prizes Prix La Ville à Lire/France Culture 2003

Rights sold English (Reaktion Books), French (Le Castor Astral),

Spanish (Pre-textos)


Contact: De Bezige Bij – Hayo Deinum; Marijke Nagtegaal

Van Miereveldstraat 1 – NL 1071 DW Amsterdam – The Netherlands; –

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