Fragments of Flardentango in Prinsenbeek
On September 9, the Friends of Cobbenhagen finally had the opportunity to meet again in person. In an intimate setting, but with a wonderful ambiance.
What a fun combination: visiting the art gallery of Friends Wilma and John Heller while Friend Claire Brentjens tells us about her novel Flardentango [Fragmentango]. We feast on South American cookies and enjoy beautiful works of art. In addition to paintings, artist photographs, sculptures, and ceramics, special handbags are on display here and there.
The author has the final word, not the reader
Not a biography
Claire tells us about her writing process. She explains why she does not call Flardentango an autobiography. For a listener who knows Claire’s background, it seems to be just that: an expat family in Argentina, studying at Tilburg University, living in Belgium. “The author has the final word on the nature of a book, not the reader,” Claire states. Within the literary world, it is quite an issue: when is a book considered to be an autobiography? When is it a novel?
The book’s title is intriguing. Fortunately, Claire explains why she chose it. ‘Tango’ is obvious: the story is set in and revolves around Argentina. ‘We dance as it were from the present to the past via fragmented memories, from the main character and her mother, who is suffering from dementia, in search for an answer to an important question: why was their stay in Argentina never mentioned after they returned to the Netherlands?’ I have started reading the novel. The word flarden regularly catches my eye. Must be a coincidence.
Meeting, learning and contributing
Finally a live meeting, after all those, otherwise successful, online meetings. It is a wonderful experience to be able to raise a glass with some of our Friends once more. Wonderful to be dining together again. And it was wonderful to be meeting, learning, and contributing again.
Also in Tilburg University Magazine
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Date of publication: 22 September 2020