Han Bennink voorbeeld voor Nederlandse schrijvers

Leuk, die staatssecretaris van hardrock en Tom Clancy. Meneer Halbe Zijlstra-san heeft in China zijn naam als verandermanager weer eens waargemaakt. Maar dan op een iets andere manier. In het land van de eeuwig dichtgeplakte monden opende hij de Nederlandse stand op de boekenbeurs aldaar, met een speech die de Nederlandse waarden er weer flink inramde bij de Chinezen. Enfin, om een boycot te vermijden door het land dat op dit moment in zijn eentje de economie van de VS omhoog houdt, moet je in bedekte termen spreken. Dat deed hij dus ook.

Maar er was meer voor de liefhebber. We hebben twee varianten van de speech in handen gekregen. De eerste versie werd verspreid op 30 augustus, en de tweede op 31 augustus. Dus wij zoeken naar de verschillen. Er waren er een paar, maar de belangrijkste wijziging betrof een passage waarvan wij op 30 augustus al vermoedden dat de literaire wereld er niet blij mee zou zijn. Wat doet boekenwurm Zijlstra daar namelijk, als afsluiter van zijn speech: tip van het jaar, en dat is natuurlijk geen schrijver of dichter, maar iemand die zonder drumstel kan drummen.

Lees mee en huiver:

• I am looking forward to the presentation, and I am particularly curious about Han Bennink’s performance. Two years ago I saw and heard him when he had a spot on a Dutch national TV prime-time programme. He was able to make a table sound like a complete drum set and since then I have kept a special eye on him.

De passage ontbreekt in de toespraakversie die de Rijksoverheid ons op 31 augustus toestuurde. Laten we hopen dat de speech van de 30ste nooit heeft plaatsgevonden, en dat één van zijn ambtenaren dit keer wel in staat was feestkonijn Zijlstra voor een uitglijder te behoeden. Maar ja. Volgen er vast meer.

Hier de twee speeches:

Toespraak | 30-08-2011 (tekst hieronder gekopieerd)

• Your Royal Highness, ladies and gentlemen, it an honour for me to be here this evening to open the Dutch presentation at the Beijing International Book Fair.

• As host country, we have the opportunity to show the world that a small nation can make significant artistic contributions. And as State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science, I am pleased that to this end, our Chinese hosts have offered us such a wonderful stage.

• Some 30 Dutch writers, designers and comic-book artists have come to Beijing to represent our country at this event, which focuses on curiosity, flights of the imagination and the importance of art and literature. These artists together provide for the host-country programme, under the inspiring motto: Open Landscape – Open Book.

• This motto links up directly with the openness of the Dutch landscape and the openness of Dutch society. A society which is characterised by transparency, hospitality, tolerance for the views of others, freedom of speech and a culture of freedom of the press. The Dutch pavilion also sets itself apart through its design which has the same open, inviting character.

• That the Netherlands is host country is the result of long-lasting intense contact between the Nederlandse Letterenfonds (Dutch Foundation for Literature) and the Beijing International Book Fair, in which our country has been participating since 2004. In this period, many fruitful relationships with numerous Chinese publishers have blossomed.

O, ja: Je hoeft geen lid te zijn om dit te kunnen lezen. We hebben wel leden nodig om dit te kunnen schrijven. Word daarom nu lid.

• This host-country presentation may be regarded as the crowning achievement of increasingly more intensive interaction, but not as its end; it is rather a beginning. Because interest in Dutch literature continues to grow strongly among Chinese publishers.

• My Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the Dutch Foundation for Literature in turn believe that it is very important that the works of Chinese writers are translated into Dutch so that they can be read in our country. We very much want to encourage this and that is why we have invited several Chinese authors to speak at the Manuscripta – Amsterdam Book Fair – on 4 and 5 September to an audience of Dutch readers and the press. A good thing because friendship and cooperation can never be a one-way street, love must flow in two directions.

• I believe it is a marvellous idea to start this Dutch presentation evening with a festive, literary-musical opening programme. Two writers, a poet, a pianist and a percussionist will allow you to sample what the Dutch arts have to offer in a performance that is part concert and part narration.

The Netherlands is a flat country; if you stand on a thin book you can virtually see the whole country. But these artists prove that even a country with neither hills nor mountains can have high peaks – in its artistic landscape.

• I am looking forward to the presentation, and I am particularly curious about Han Bennink’s performance. Two years ago I saw and heard him when he had a spot on a Dutch national TV prime-time programme. He was able to make a table sound like a complete drum set and since then I have kept a special eye on him.

• Ladies and gentlemen, I wish you all an inspiring and fruitful Book Fair.

Thank you for your attention.

Voor je verder leest...

Inmiddels zijn al bijna 300 mensen met een hart voor kunst lid. We groeien snel! Alleen dankzij onze leden kunnen we dit soort verhalen blijven vertellen.

Word ook lid, door HIER te klikken!

Definitieve versie:

Toespraak | 31-08-2011 (tekst hieronder eveneens gekopieerd)

• Your Royal Highness, dear colleague, ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your warm welcome, for the kind words of the previous speakers and for the beautiful song we just heard.

• It is an enormous honour for my country to be the host country at the Beijing International Book Fair. In this way we can show the world that even a small country can make significant artistic contributions. I am pleased that our Chinese hosts have to this end offered us such an ideal stage.

• This presentation constitutes the high point of a tradition that began back in 1993 when the Netherlands was the host country at the Buchmesse in Frankfurt. Since that time we have also been in the spotlight in Barcelona, Gothenburg, London, Tokyo, Turin and Paris. Beijing is the crowning achievement in a journey across the globe that started out almost 20 years ago.

• We would like to promote Dutch culture here, especially literature, with reciprocity as one of the major starting points. A valuable, sustainable relationship is never a one-way street.

• In reverse, we also consider it to be very important that the works of Chinese writers are translated into Dutch for Dutch readers. To encourage this we have invited several Chinese authors to the Manuscripta – Amsterdam Book Fair – on 4 and 5 September to speak to a Dutch audience.

• Some 30 Dutch writers, designers, comic-book artists and publishers have come here to represent our country at the Dutch pavilion. A pavilion that sets itself apart through its open, inviting character that is in keeping with the openness of Dutch society; a society which has for centuries been characterised by transparency, hospitality, tolerance for the views of others, freedom of speech and a culture of freedom of the press.

• In this way, the pavilion functions as an outpost of the Netherlands, as a true free port. It is a meeting place that supports both the distribution of Dutch books in China and the distribution of Chinese books in the Netherlands.

• Here, the Netherlands is presenting a fine overview of Dutch classics as well as recent Dutch fiction and non-fiction, children’s literature and books for young adults, and poetry, as well as shining the spotlight on a wonderful collection of books on architecture, design and graphic design.

• The Dutch host-country pavilion also houses various exhibitions: on the correspondence of Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch illustrators of children’s books Dick Bruna and Max Velthuis, comic-book artists, Robert van Gulik and Het Best verzorgde Nederlandse Boek (The Best Dutch Book Design).

• As I have said before, the Netherlands is a flat country; if you stand on a thin book you can virtually see the whole country. But these artists prove that even a country with neither hills nor mountains can have high peaks in its artistic landscape.

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• This government desires to allocate a larger role to the economic importance of cultural policy. That is one reason why we are so happy about our ties with China, an emerging economic power with a strong cultural tradition. It is for good reason that China is one of the 6 non-European countries on which our international cultural policy is focused.

• Interest in Dutch literature continues to grow strongly among Chinese publishers. This host-country presentation is therefore not an end but rather a beginning. So, without further ado, I am proud to open the Beijing International Book Fair!

Thank you for your attention.

Wij houden u, zoals altijd, op de hoogte.