Warren was born in Zeeland, the only child of an engineer and a school teacher. As a child, he had few friendships among his peers, and when he was a student at the lyceum in Goes developed a great interest in nature. After graduation, he began writing articles for nature magazines, and was especially interested in birds. Jac. P. Thijsse was his model. For a while, he worked as a volunteer at an institute for dialectology. Even before the start of World War II, he began keeping a diary.
After the war, Warren began publishing: in 1946, he published Pastorale, a collection of poetry; in 1947, a study on Jac. P. Thijsse; and in 1949 a book on nocturnal birds. In 1951, he began to write reviews and literary criticism for the Provinciale Zeeuwse Courant, one of the foremost newspapers in Zeeland. He wrote these columns and reviews until his death.
In 1952 he married an English woman, and they had three children. Soon after their marriage his wife was offered a position in Paris, where Warren's repressed homosexual feelings found an outlet in many contacts with North African boys. Although this created tension in his marriage, it also sparked his poetic career: Warren published three collections of poetry during his years in Paris, and the marriage, in the end, lasted until 1978.
Hans Warren was a Dutch writer. Much of his fame in the Netherlands derives from having published a collection of diaries in which he described his life and homosexual experiences in a country that deeply repressed homosexuality. In 1978 Warren met Mario Molegraaf, forty years his junior (Warren was 57 at that time). The two began a tumultuous love affair that lasted until Warren's death. Molegraaf was a talented writer himself, and together they published a number of translations.
Portrait by Reynier de Muynck
In 1958 the family returned to Zeeland, and Warren produced little writing until the end of the 1960s, when the publishing company Bert Bakker published a collection of new poems by Warren, Tussen hybris en vergaan. In 1969 Warren met Gerrit Komrij and the two poets began a long and mutually inspiring friendship. During the next ten years, Warren published a new book of poetry every year.
In 1978 Warren met Mario Molegraaf (born August 26, 1961), forty years his junior (Warren was 57 at that time). The two began a tumultuous love affair that lasted until Warren's death. Molegraaf was a talented writer himself, and together they published a number of translations: the entire work of Constantine P. Cavafy, several poems by George Seferis, works by Plato and Epicurus, and the four gospels.
The publication of his series of diaries caused some concern among Warren's friends and colleagues: as the title implies, the diaries are quite frank. Warren openly describes his own life and experiences, and offers his opinions on everyone, including his friends. The twentieth volume covered the years 1996 to 1998, with one more volume to be published.
From 1985 until 2002, Meulenhoff published a Warren calendar with a poem each day. Together with Molegraaf, Warren published several popular poetry anthologies.
Warren died at age 80 of liver problems; even his final year is described in his diary (which he kept until three days before his death) and in that of Molegraaf (published in 2002). In 2004, two novels he wrote in 1950 (Een vriend voor de schemering and Om het behoud der eenzaamheid) were rediscovered; Een vriend voor de schemering was published in 2005. A movie based on his novel Steen der hulp is in production.
Secretly Inside: A Novel (Library Of World Fiction) by Hans Warren
Hardcover: 106 pages
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press (April 10, 2006)
Amazon: Secretly Inside: A Novel
In the Dutch countryside the war seems far away. For most people, at least. But not for Ed, a Jew in Nazi-occupied Holland trying to find some safe sanctuary. Compelled to go into hiding in the rural province of Zeeland, he is taken in by a seemingly benevolent family of farmers. But, as Ed comes to realize, the Van 't Westeindes are not what they seem. Camiel, the son of the house, is still in mourning for his best friend, a German soldier who committed suicide the year before. And Camiel's fiery, unstable sister Mariete begins to nurse a growing unrequited passion for their young guest, just as Ed realizes his own attraction to Camiel. As time goes by, Ed is drawn into the domestic intrigues around him, and the farmhouse that had begun as his refuge slowly becomes his prison.
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