Rogi Wieg, of Hungarian extraction, is a poet of a type not often found in the Netherlands. From the very moment of his debut, at the age of twenty, in 1982 with Iedere nacht verdwijnt een dame of heer (Every night a lady or gentleman disappears) it was clear that, despite the realistic and relativistic spirit of the age, we were dealing with a poet who was romantic to his finger-tips, someone with a tormented soul and a rich arsenal of expressive potential for his emotions. But few people can write such beautiful sentences as Rogi Wieg, a critic remarked – and that is how it is.
His entire work trembles and quivers with beauty of language and with observations that ensconce themselves in your brain, like these, from ‘The old sunflower’:
I have lived long enough
so as not to have lived
long enough. So you discover something once again.
Mysterious, magical but also moving and compelling are poems by Rogi Wieg, who from the outset has done things his own way. They deal with love, with the confusion of present-day man, but also with the psychiatric patient and the jailbird. Above all this, however, he is a lyrical poet who sings his own, completely distinctive song. Wieg, who is also active as a prose writer, painter and musician, once wrote the following:
I paint with my body,
write prose with my intellect,
make poetry with my heart, and you can exchange all
with each other.
He is a poet of the heart and not someone for certainties and dogmatic statements, nor does he stick to one particular genre.
All in all, he has amply demonstrated that he is one of the most creative of Dutch writers, with more than twenty titles to his name, of which the latest, De kam (The comb), appeared only recently. In 1987, he was awarded the Van der Hoogt Prize for his collection Toverdraad van dagverblijf (The Magic of Passing Days), in 1988 the Charlotte Köhler Stipend for De zee heeft geen manieren (The sea has no manners).
Iedere nacht verdwijnt een dame of een heer, ’t Hof, Amsterdam 1982
Toverdraad van dagverdrijf, Van Oorschot, Amsterdam 1986
Roze brieven, Van Oorschot, Amsterdam 1989
De moederminnaar (novel), Van Oorschot, Amsterdam 1992
Spek van mooie zijde, Van Oorschot, Amsterdam 1993
De overval (novel), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 1997
Het boek van de beminnelijkheid, De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 2000
Kameraad Scheermes (novel), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 2003
De Ander (poems and paintings), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 2004
Waar hij zijn jas hangt (selected poems), De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam, 2006