Summary in English
By HLG March 2004

Hubert Lampo

Hubert Lampo, born in Antwerp (Belgium) is, at the age of 83, still one of the most famous and beloved Flemish authors from the Dutch-speaking regions.
Many of his books are still available from bookshops and his dedicated audience is constantly rejuvenated by young and enthusiastic readers, (re)discovering his work. Also, he is widely read in schools.
Lampo played an active part in the Flemish literary scene, among others as the co-founder of the famous magazine Nieuw Vlaams Tijdschrift. He was Government Inspector of Public Libraries as well.
In 1973 Lampo became chairman of the Society of Flemish Men of Letters and in 1989 he was awarded the title of Honorary Doctor at Stendhal University of Grenoble (France).


Hubert Lampo’s vast body of work includes 23 novels, 15 essays, short stories, translations from French and German, as well as innumerable articles on art and literature.
His first novel, Don Juan en de laatste nimf, was published in 1943. Sixty years later Meulenhoff Publishers, Amsterdam, published his omnibus Heimwee naar de sterren, containing his novel De komst van Joachim Stiller.
The works of Lampo are characterized by its universal character. Strongly influenced by experiences from the Second World War, humanism, democracy and social engagement are central notions in his writings. Lampo combines these aspects with a remarkable sensibility for the supernatural and a fascination for the unaccountable. From this fascination for superrational connections originates a distinctive and personal style, otherwise known as “magical realism”. His rendering of reality and fiction results in a new psychological reality, in which he uses elements from parapsychology and liberal interpretations of cultural history.

De komst van Joachim Stiller (“The coming of Joachim Stiller”)

For many readers his novel De komst van Joachim Stiller (1960), written completely in magical realist style, is his best known and most beloved work. The appearance of a mysterious saviour in this book is clear reference to the Messiah archetype. The theme is a classical notion: the hero has to experience many ordeals that will strenghten and enlighten him. This logical road is leading from the concrete to the abstract results in a rebirth or even renaissance of the main character. The spiritual road of the hero influences the reader as well, who, confronted with a sense of alienation, recognizes himself, since he, unconsciously, follows that same road. This novel has often been associated with the theories of the Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung.
The novel has been translated into 12 languages already; apart from all major Western European languages also into some Slavic languages like Polish, Serbo-Croation and Czech. More than 50 editions have been published. The book was adapted for the screen by the famous Belgian film-maker Harry Kümmel.

Literay prizes and awards

In 1947 Hubert Lampo received the Prize from the Province of Antwerp for his novel Hélène Defraye. Since then he was awarded many prizes and honoury disctinctions. For De komst van Joachim Stiller he received in 1963 the prestigious, three-yearly, National Prize for Creative Proze. In recent years he was honoured several times: in 1998 he received the Literary Prize from the Province of Antwerp, in 2001 the Prize from Liberal Humanism and in 2002 he was made honorary citizen of his hometown, Grobbendonk. Last, but not least, he is a nominee for the Nobelprize for Literature.
In August 2000 the Free University of Brussels organized a 4-day colloquy for his eightieth birthday, where many internationally renowned speakers held a lecture.

Hubert Lampo Society

Spring 2003, a group of admirers of the works of Hubert Lampo founded the Hubert Lampo Society. This Dutch-Flemish society aims to stimulate and initiate research of the works of Lampo and related subjects, facilitate the use and maintenance of the existing archives, organize lectures, publish a periodical and stimulate the publication of reprints and translations. There is a close cooperation with several academic international institutions.