- Publisher: PUSHKIN PRESS
- Format: Paperback | 304 pages
- Dimensions: 116mm x 164mm x 28mm | 299g
- Publication date: 12 February 2013
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1906548889
- ISBN 13: 9781906548889
- Sales rank: 496,025
A classic of early modernism The Forbidden Kingdom (Het Verboden Rijk) is the masterwork of Jan Jacob Slauerhoff - a romantic tale of adventure, seafaring and colonialism, told through an experimental narrative. An intoxicating mix of time travel and adventure, The Forbidden Kingdom revolves around the Portuguese imperial outpost of Macao in China. Two men journey to the colony: the exiled sixteenth-century poet Luis de Camoes, author of The Lusiads, and a twentieth-century ship's wireless operator. With their overlapping stories Slauerhoff draws his reader into a dazzling world of exoticism, betrayal and exile, where past and present merge and the possibility of death is never far away. Translated from the Dutch by the award-winning Paul Vincent, The Forbidden Kingdom by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff is published by Pushkin Press. Jan Jacob Slauerhoff (1898-1936) was born in the Netherlands. After a sickly childhood, he studied medicine in Amsterdam before enlisting as a ship's surgeon with the Dutch East India Company, working on the infamous China-Java-Japan route. His first poetry collection, Archipelago (Archipel), was published in 1921, and he came to be regarded as one of the most important writers in Dutch - a poete maudit to compare to Baudelaire or Verlaine. A troubled life, which involved numerous sea voyages to the Orient, South America and Africa, as well as a marriage to the dancer Darja Collin, Slauerhoff contracted malaria on a journey to South Africa, and died.
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Jan Jacob Slauerhoff was born in the Leeuwarden, The Netherlands in 1898. After a childhood plagued by bouts of asthma, he studied medicine in Amsterdam, where he also began writing poetry. His first work was published in 1921, and by the end of his life he was considered one of the most important writers in Dutch. In 1923, upon graduating from university, Slauerhoff signed up as a ship's surgeon with the Dutch East India Company. Despite poor health, he returned to the sea throughout his life, voyaging many times to the Far East, Latin America and Africa. On his last voyage, to South Africa in 1935, Slauerhoff contracted malaria. He died in Hilversum, The Netherlands in 1936 at thirty-eight.
His personal involvement and his unique style-sometimes clipped and ironic, at other times lyrical and visionary-give his books a place of their own in the history of the novel -- R.P. Meijer Literature of the Low Countries In his prose he is great and irresistible -- Bert Schierbeek De Groene Amsterdammer