J.C. Bloem: 'Luiheid' en 'Verlangen'

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This article on the Dutch poet J.C. Bloem (1887-1966) attempts to understand an aspect of Bloem's biography from the perspective of his poetry and vice versa. Adopting this perspective, it turns out that a biographical feature such as 'laziness' relates to the poetical concept of 'desire'. I define this concept as a desire for stasis and stillness, for a balance of life and death. Subsequently, I discuss Bloem's concept of 'desire' within the context of Jacques Lacan's psychoanalysis. Certain poems and aphorisms already analyzed in the first part of this article are reinterpreted within a Lacanian framework. The Lacanian frame of reference foregrounds a fundamental ambivalence within Bloem's concept of desire: it is a desire for laziness and disciplined activity. As it turns out, both Bloem's biography and his poetry are characterized by this ambivalence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-147
Number of pages27
JournalSpiegel der Letteren
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001


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