Author(s): Cees Nooteboom
The Roman emperor Caligula famously called off an invasion of Britain and instead ordered his legions into the surf to attack the god of the sea. Cees Nooteboom is more civil. As autumn falls each year he writes Poseidon a letter requesting permission to return to his home in Minorca the following spring.
Of course, it would be discourteous if the letters were no more than a series of demands. So Cees seeks the wisdom of the trident-wielding deity, and takes the opportunity to keep him up to speed on his own musings.
At once playful and poignant, beautiful and bizarre, this masterpiece uses the minutiae of everyday life to illuminate the broadest questions of human existence, all couched in the glittering prose of one of Europe's outstanding stylists.
Cees Nooteboom was born in The Hague in 1933, and now lives in Amsterdam and on Minorca. He is a world-renowned poet, novelist and travel writer. Laura Watkinson translates from Dutch, Italian and German and lives in Amsterdam.