A Warning #unintendedpoetry

A Warning

Never make the argument
for some evil
only because it’s available.

History doesn’t prove anything.

Okay. And that’s all
I will say about this topic.

~ @nobyeni

Some months ago I joined a writing community (@thewritersblock). One of the poets there started to edit words said in chat, to show the beauty of what I’d call unintended poetry. Thanks @damianjayclay (www.damianjayclay.com) for bringing this kind of beauty to the surface. It’s beyond measure.

Here an overview of more fiction/short stories  by @nobyeni.

Book review: Between the world and me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

It is not often that you read books that make you want to read it again the moment you finish it. But this was one such a book.

Addressed to his 15-year old son, Coates talks about what has made him the man he is. Growing up as a black boy, having to survive on the streets and at school, being told he should be twice as good as anybody else, being loved by parents who feared for his well-being. It is not a world I know. I am not American. But I am brought up with the ideas Coates talks about, with the idea of whiteness.

I cannot claim I fully understand every part of it. But I do share some of the experiences he write about. About visiting Paris, feeling free for the first time. Being amazed that there is a world out there that is so completely different, almost unrelated to him. Where he is an outsider as well, but where he doesn’t have to fear for his life. Even though he does, because that is what ideology has done to him.


This is what this book is mostly about for me: ideology. Ideology is a specific lens you use to look at the world. We all have such a lens, anyone who pretends they don’t, are dead. Anyone who is alive will need to make sense of the world around him, will need to make decision, decide about what is real, what is good. And this is based on an underlying sense of the way things simply are: this is ideology.

But the fact that you think certain things are natural, doesn’t make it so. I really loved this quote regarding this very fact:

“But race is the child of racism, not the father. And the process of naming “the people” has never been a matter of genealogy and physiognomy so much as one of hierarchy. Difference in hue and hair is old. But the belief in the preeminence of hue and hair, the notion that these factors can correctly organize a society and that they signify deeper attributes, which are indelible—this is the new idea at the heart of these new people who have been brought up hopelessly, tragically, deceitfully, to believe that they are white.”

~ Ta-Nehisi Coates

Racism is built upon the idea that there is something called race. Race is the making of distinctions between people based on their physical heritage. And it is because of making this kind of distinction, which is racism, that the concept of race truly takes shape. Without this significant longing to create a hierarchy between people, there would have been no place for race in this world.

I might not be American or black. But I am white, and Dutch. And the Dutch were those who shipped slaves, who measured the noses and heads of people in Indonesia to prove they were less intelligent and less human. If I get to live without a daily reminder of being born as a descendent of those people, then Coates and his son and so many others around the world should also be able to grow up without being reminded of that, of being looked at through difference. As if this difference first of all makes them who they are.

And I wanted to share one last quote to show how this book is about so much more than race and racism. It is about living. And finding out who you are.

“I was made for the library, not the classroom. The classroom was a jail of other people’s interests. The library was open, unending, free.”

~ Ta-Nehisi Coates

The Dogs – Original Short Story

“Jacob, listen. You need to tell me what happened.”

The boy was sitting in a corner, a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. He moved back and forth, to a rhythm only noticeable to him.

Richard shook his head. How were they supposed to get any information out of this kid? It wasn’t like they’d just give him some cookies and he’d spill the beans.

Continue reading “The Dogs – Original Short Story”

Love Please – Original Flash Fiction with a pinch of philosophy by @nobyeni

In a world far far away, in a galaxy that doesn’t exist, and in a time that is already forgotten, there was a man…

So I wrote a story today, in response to a 24-hour challenge. The prompt was ‘a robot that falls in love with its owner’. I was talking to someone over in an online writers group I’m part of, and he kind of challenged me to write fantasy. So I thought of the most crazy thing I could think of and wrote a short flash fiction story (of about 500 words).

A story which, I’m happy to report, many people seem to like, as it was awarded special curation. So, if cryptocurrency is real, it will be my best paid piece of writing so far.

You can read the full story here, for free:

Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: op de radio & boekpresentatie

Op zondag 8 april de boekpresentatie in Nijmegen, en vorige week op radio 1 kort mijn boek toegelicht. Hoogste tijd voor een update dus.

Sinds vorige week ligt mijn eerste boek in de Nederlandse boekwinkel… ‘Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof: Waarom filosofen gek zijn‘, uitgeven door Damon.
Spannende tijden dus. Zeker ook met de boekpresentatie volgende week, waar ik samen met Prof. Edith Brugmans het boek zal bespreken. Op zondag 8 april, vanaf 15:30 in Boekhandel Roelants te Nijmegen. Iedereen is van harte welkom op dit feestje.
Op Radio 1 in het programma Nooit Meer Slapen werd ik afgelopen donderdag kort geinterviewd over het boek, wat je hier terug kunt luisteren:

Dat was een hele nieuwe ervaring, zeer leerzaam. Want hoe vat je een boek samen in 6 minuten, waarbij je de lezer wilt uitnodigen en het niet te zwaar wilt maken, en toch wil aangeven dat het een filosofisch boek is dat over best grote vragen gaat. Of dat gelukt is? Jullie mogen het zeggen…

Maar ook spannend omdat de eerste lezers feedback beginnen te geven… Vooralsnog door foto’s te sturen als bewijs dat ze het boek aan het lezen zijn…
Prof. Edit Brugmans was in ieder geval erg enthousiast, en ik zie dan ook erg uit naar de vragen die ze me tijdens de boekpresentatie zal gaan stellen.
Wie weet tot dan!
En tot die tijd… een inkijkexemplaar kun je hier vinden.

Boek! Waarom filosofen gek zijn #filosofie #ikschrijf #nuverkrijgbaar

Een boek uitgeven is een lange termijn plan. Het schrijven is maar een klein onderdeel er van, het vinden van een uitgever, het herschrijven en redigeren een des te grotere onderneming. Maar dat maakt het resultaat ook iets waar ik erg trots op ben: ‘Diagnose van de Moderne Filosoof – Waarom filosofen gek zijn’ nu in de winkel!

Vanaf 19 maart 2018 ligt het in de winkel: het boek waar ik een hele tijd hard aan heb gewerkt en dat nu eindelijk tastbaar wordt… Mijn eerste boek, geschreven voor een algemeen publiek in een wat de uitgever een jonge, frisse en uitnodigende toon noemde. Over een onderwerp dat mij niet alleen na aan het hart ligt, maar ook belangrijk is. Vind ik dan. Continue reading “Boek! Waarom filosofen gek zijn #filosofie #ikschrijf #nuverkrijgbaar”

Short story of a dike with an existential crisis #writing #fiction

I’ve started to seriously write fiction. Today I published a short story from the point of view of a dike with an existential crisis.

Authors Note

I grew up in Haarlem, in the Netherlands, which is situated close to the North Sea and surrounded by dunes and dikes and wetlands. I remember once, as we were out on our bikes driving around, we passed a statue of a boy with his finger in the dike. Probably the one in Spaarnwoude (see image). I remember that my mother told me the story about how this boy Hans had saved the dike. He saw there was a little hole in the dike and put his finger in it, to stop the water from coming through. He was the ‘hero of Haarlem’, making sure the town was not flooded.

As I read about this story now, it turns out not to be a Dutch story at all, but an American one first published in 1865. It was written by Mary Mapes Dodge. So it’s American folklore about the Netherlands. Still, for me it is a Dutch story connected to my childhood.
I wrote this story as part of a writers-workout at a group of writers I’ve recently discovered who provide interesting feedback on one’s writing. All peer-review, with some excellent writers who are able to quickly take apart your work and can point out its strengths and weaknesses. Weekly exercises make everyone challenge themselves in new and surprising ways. At least, for me, as fiction writing is still pretty new to me. At least at the rate I’m doing it now. This time round the assignment was to take a public domain fairy tale or folklore, and to rewrite it from a point of view different than that of the main protagonist of the story. Mine turned out quite nice, I think.

Read the full story on Steem

So, if you’re interested in reading from the point of view of a dike with an existential crisis, here you can read the full story.


Recensie: Agamben's Profanaties

De Italiaanse filosoof Giorgio Agamben (1942) is een grote naam in de hedendaagse filosofie. Zijn grootste werk is het project ‘Homo Sacer’ – de sacrale mens, de heilige mens. In dat werk en in veel van zijn denken gaat het veelal om de relatie tussen de mens en de rituelen en heilige objecten waar de mens mee samenleeft. Nu in Nederlandse vertaling verschenen het boek ‘Profanaties’. Een recensie door Nicole des Bouvrie. Continue reading “Recensie: Agamben's Profanaties”

Het Thuis van de Mens

Soms kom je ergens een artikel tegen dat je jaren geleden schreef en niet onaardig is.

Soms heeft de filosofie al door wat er aan de hand is, vijftig jaar voordat het zichtbaar wordt. Teruggrijpen naar dode schrijvers en denkers is dan helemaal niet raar. Toch vergt het redelijk wat vertaling naar de tegenwoordige tijd.
Wanneer we iemand tegenkomen en willen weten wie die persoon is, vragen we vaak om haar naam, en vervolgens waar zij vandaan komt. Dat is niet zo raar. Die naam is handig om mensen te kunnen onderscheiden, en de plek waar we wonen gaat over ons thuis, over waar we onszelf zijn. Maar wat betekent dat ‘onszelf zijn’ en wat heeft wonen daar mee te maken? Gelukkig heeft Martin Heidegger (Duitsland, 1889 – 1976) dat al voor ons onderzocht.  Continue reading “Het Thuis van de Mens”