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Summer break!!

By Peter Versteeg, on behalf of the SpW team

We are pretty sure that summer is here! If you have no idea what to do with all this spare time, let’s see whether we, the SpW editorial team, are able to inspire you.


Radio show (and book): Het mirakel van België (2022) by Maarten Inghels
Ever heard of a mythomaniac? In this novel, Flemish writer Maarten Inghels follows the biggest trickster ever in Belgian history. He pretends to be a diplomat, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, judge, and billionaire, yet only has an IQ of 75. Interested? Listen to this interview with the author (in Dutch).


Book: World as Lover, World as Self (2003) by Joanna Macy

Film: “Juliette of the Herbs” (Documentary) by Tish Streeten

To do: Sleep outside as much as possible. Whether in my garden or in the mountains, it doesn’t even have to be during the night – it can also be a little nap somewhere in a hammock. Learning to allow ourselves to deeply relax with the act of doing nothing is almost radical when you’re expected to do everything but.


Book: Disgrace (1999) by J.M. Coetzee

Film: “Youth” (2015) by Paolo Sorrentino

Something else I find worth sharing: Although this summer I will try not to spend much more time in front of a computer screen than necessary, I will probably check out Freddie Sayers’ interviews for Unherd TV (UnHerd – YouTube). Sayers respectfully, though not uncritically, interviews people with independent, unconventional, or sometimes controversial views on current issues. Thereby he contributes to a better understanding of perspectives beyond dominant discourses and black and white narratives, and a fuller understanding of the issues at hand, while also challenging, as the title reveals, herd mentality. 


Book: IQ84 (2009) by Haruki Murakami

To do: Explore the Irish coast.

Film: There are many films I would like to see over the summer. One of them is “Men” (Alex Garland), a horror film about a woman who settles in the countryside and who meets very strange men. Peter recommended the film yet he also told me the film was really scary. So although I do want to see it, I am also afraid of what I am going to see….


Book: Changing Planes (2003) by Ursula K. Le Guin

Film: The 2022 summer film has to be “Bergman Island” (Mia Hansen-Løve). Two filmmakers spend a summer on Fårö, the island where the famous director Ingmar Bergman lived and worked. The film is a quiet, beautiful, romantic window narrative, which may also give you some ideas on how to handle writer’s block. And if the temperature is really rising, close the curtains and immerse yourself in the stillness and liminal pleasure of “La Virgen de Agosto” (I would say, definitely last year’s summer film). A Madrid odyssey, a nativity parable, and an experience of simply enjoying life.

To do: learning to jump rope

That’s it, dear reader. See you all in September!

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