The noted Flemish writer, Paul Snoek, was one of the most controversial figures of modern Flemish literature. He was often referred to in the mid-fifties as the “James Dean” of Belgian poetry, in part because of his love of fast cars, wild living, and anti-establishment polemics. Despite this, he went on to receive most of the major Belgian and Flemish literary prizes, becoming one of the most influential figures of the 20th century writing in Dutch. Snoek died in 1981, at the age of 47, in a car accident.
This collection of three of his most important books, Hercules, Richelieu and Nostradamus, represents a darker, ironic, and, at times, even absurd side of Snoek’s writing. As the translator, Kendall Dunkelberg, notes, “In these works clearly we are dealing with a mature poet who has undergone several transformation in his sense of poetics, and who has gained confidence as a result of this development.”