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Angel’s Birth

November 1, 2011

One of the chapters in Angel is called Bayswater Blues, in it the main character Tijmen explores the neighbourhood, and in another the second main character Angel, Tijmen’s girlfriend, walks almost past the venue Paddington Library.

So I thought it better to take Arnold Jansen op de Haar along to get a taste of the venue on the eve of the event and couldn’t resist taking this picture of him in front of the announcement of the launch.

Arnold anticipating the event in front of the venue
Arnold anticipating the event in front of the venue

The library staff, managed by Laurence Foe, helped us to set the stage in no time. So all we had to do was waiting for our guests to arrive.

All set and ready anticipating the punters
All set and ready anticipating the punters

After I formally presented Arnold with the very first copy of Angel, Arnold gave a wonderful talk.

I’ll give you a few highlights before showing a picture of Arnold not only addressing the launch party but the entire library.

‘I am a writer whose work is closely related to his own life. When I write I probably say more than in real life. But I think this is true for all literature and probably also for creating art in general. Literature tells you what people say on the drive home after leaving a birthday party.’

‘Let me ask myself a few questions? Are you Tijmen?’

‘Yes and no. No because the facts don’t fit reality, but yes because the essence and the theme do fit. The essence is that just like the main character I want to grow into the person I’m meant to be. Actually, I want to be who I am; never having to play a role again.’

So it is very fitting that one of Angel’s mottos is: The art of literature is to tell the truth by lying about it.

Addressing the library
Addressing the library

As one member of the audience remarked afterwards, ‘People no longer know how to address an audience, so it’s great to listen to someone who is trained in public speaking.’

Everyone was enjoying themselves and raised their glasses on an exciting new novel, going home happily with a signed copy.

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