Hugo Claus  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Hugo Maurice Julien Claus (April 5, 1929 in Bruges, Belgium, March 19, 2008 in Antwerp, Belgium) was a Flemish novelist, poet, playwright, painter and film director best-known internationally for his romantic relationship with Sylvia Kristel and his novel Het verdriet van België ("The Sorrow of Belgium"). Locally remembered for plays such as Masscheroen.



Hugo Claus as the eldest son of the printer Jozef (Joseph) Claus and Germaine Vanderlinden. In February 1931 his brother Guido was born (died 9 November 1991). Guido was later followed by two other brothers -- Odo (born January 1934) and Johan (born November 1938).

He lived in Italy from February 1953 to the beginning of 1955, where his girlfriend Elly Overzier (born in 1928) acted in a few films. They were married on May 26 1955.


  • 1952 - Arkprijs van het Vrije Woord for De Metsiers
  • 1964 - August Beernaertprize for De verwondering
  • 1965 - Henriëtte Roland Holst-prize for all his plays
  • 1967 - Edmond Hustinxprize for all his plays
  • 1979 - Constantijn Huygensprize
  • 1985 - Cestoda-prize
  • 1986 - Herman Gorterprize for Alibi
  • 1986 - Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren
  • 1994 - Prijs voor Meesterschap
  • 1994 - VSB Poëzieprize for De Sporen
  • 1997 - Libris Literatuurprize for De geruchten
  • 1998 - Aristeion Prize

(incomplete list)


Claus has written over a thousand pages of poetry, more than sixty plays, over twenty novels and several essays, film scripts, libretti and translations. Only a small part of this œuvre has been translated into English:

  • Prose:
  • Poetry:
    • with Karel Appel: Love Song, 1963 (written in English)
    • with Pierre Alechinsky and Karel Appel: Two-brush paintings: Their poems by Hugo Claus, 1980 (Zwart, 1978)
    • Selected Poems 1953-1973, 1986
    • The Sign of the Hamster, 1986 (Het teken van de Hamster, 1964)
  • Theatre:
    • Friday, 1972 (Vrijdag, 1969)
    • Four Works for the Theatre, 1990 (ISBN 0-9666152-1-2)
    • Friday, 1993 (Vrijdag, 1969)
  • Essay:
    • Karel Appel, Painter, 1962 (Karel Appel, Schilder, 1964)

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hugo Claus" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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