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Today marks the tenth anniversary of the death of Texel’s most famous resident: Dutch writer, sculptor and painter Jan Wolkers died in his house on the edge of the woods ten years ago. Today, writer Onno Blom will be awarded his doctorate for Wolkers’ biography Het litteken van de dood (“The Scar of Death). Needless to say, Texel will reflect on this special occasion too.
“The archive at his home on Texel is a real treasure trove”, says Onno Blom. “I found plenty of intimate and personal information about Wolkers’ entire life. His work is much more autobiographical than we ever suspected.” At least one of Wolkers’ books, Zomerhitte (Summer Heat), which was made into a film, is located on Texel and there are many places on the island that remind us of Wolkers too, including his favourite wildlife area De Muy, his house on Rozendijk and his sculpture in the Elemert in Den Burg.
When he was young, the famous writer and artist would go out into the country to escape the crowded family home and his hard-handed father. At Wolkers’ house on the island, Blom discovered a sketchbook in which the young Wolkers recorded his surroundings. “As a boy, he would escape into the countryside and on the island, he lived among nature. Texel was a paradise for Wolkers; he was never happier than when he was there. It’s where he found his balance in life.”
Blom is to give a special talk about Wolkers’ biography to everyone on Texel who feels closely connected to Wolkers. Jan Wolkers is also the main focus of a performance given on Sunday 22 October by Nico Arzbach and Roland Brunt, the guitar player and saxophone player of the pop group De Dijk, on Texel. Between the songs, Wolkers specialist Peter Smit will recall some anecdotes and stories.