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Bernard Dewulf
The Back

An artist finds himself somewhat lost when he sets out to create a series of paintings of his former lover. He invents a writer to pen seven letters to his beloved (possibly a reference to the seven surviving letters written by Rembrandt.) Can words release the images which appear to be trapped in the artist’s mind? 

“I have tried to paint your back from memory. A naked back from naked memory. It didn’t work. I worked on it all day, in a small format, that seemed the most convenient. The light was greyish today, as I had hoped it would be. It could not become a sweet painting. But all that fuss about the light. Northern light, flat light, morning light, afternoon light, evening light. It’s the light in the head that matters.”

The Back by Bernard Dewulf was translated by Michael O’Loughlin. The story is read by David Swatling.

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Bernard Dewulf

Flemish writer, poet, journalist and essayist Bernard Dewulf was born in Brussels in 1960. He has worked for several Flemish periodicals including De Morgen where he wrote columns and was Culture Editor. He won the 1996 Debut Prize for his first collection of poetry ‘Waar de egel gaat’ (Where the Hedgehog Goes). In 2009 he was awarded with the highly prestigious Libris Prize for Dutch and Flemish literature for his novel Kleine dagen (Short days).

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