Dirk and Constant
In 1974, while rummaging through some crates in a second hand bookstore in Alkmaar, I came across an issue of the magazine Randstad, published by De Bezige Bij in 1961. It contained an essay by Constant and pictures of New Babylon from the exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum. From that moment on New Babylon was a prominent contemporary myth in my imagination. It formed the link between my boy’s world of space travel, robots and computers, the techno optimism of the Thunderbirds, and the world of modern art, counterculture, history and political theory that I explored.
In 2006 I published the novel Het Middel, in which I investigated the notion of utopia. My protagonist (a bicultural wandering soul) discovers a nomadic community, living on the ruins of an utopian community, that could be a version of New Babylon gone gruesomely wrong.They move between multiple worlds and invent their own history and culture. He joins them and even finds a new love. There is a tiny dog that is wandering through the book, called Constant.