Welt erfahren Cees Nooteboom reads from his collected works, Werner Wölber reads the author’s poems

»One day, and I know it sounds romantic and old-fashioned, but this is how it happened in my life: I packed my rucksack, I said good-by to mother and took the train to Breda. An hour later at the Belgian border I stood at the side of the road and stuck out my thumb: you could say I’ve been doing the same thing ever since.«

Cees Nooteboom

As a young man, Cees Nooteboom began a journey that is still continuing today. On his road to the foreign he came across the wonders and disappointments, the idylls and horrors of other worlds, and he recognised that, »… wherever you turn up on a journey, you will always be sitting on someone else’s chair. The world belongs to others, you can only look at it in order to understand it better – but you cannot become that world.«

In his many volumes of collected travel stories, which owe less to reportage and more to precise observation and considered inspection, he tell of remote regions of the world that require tremendous effort from the traveller to reach them. Nooteboom enables the reader to share in this experience of the foreign, »in which the traveller becomes a child and simply points at things.«