Johnny van Doorn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Johnny van Doorn
Van Doorn has curly hair and is speaking in a microphone, holding a notepad in his right hand, and making gestures with his left hand
Johnny van Doorn (photo by Tom Ordelman)
Born Johan van Doorn
(1944-11-12)12 November 1944
Beekbergen, Netherlands
Died 26 January 1991(1991-01-26) (aged 46)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pen name Johnny the Selfkicker
Occupation Writer, performer
Language Dutch
Genres Poetry, short stories

Portal icon Literature portal

Johan "Johnny" van Doorn (12 November 1944 – 26 January 1991) was a Dutch writer, poet and performer, first in Arnhem, later in the country's capital Amsterdam. As a poet Van Doorn called himself Johnny the Selfkicker, a nickname he has proven to be worthy of by means of wild, often haphazard performances, during which he never failed to work himself into a frenzy, which often resulted in him collapsing right in front of an astonished audience, say, in the middle of a large retail outlet.

Biography[edit]

Johan van Doorn was born on 12 November 1944 in Beekbergen in the Netherlands.[1]

Born during the final stages of the Second World War in the little village of Beekbergen to which his parents had to flee, because 10 miles to the south, in their native city of Arnhem, the Operation Market Garden was culminating in the Battle of Arnhem. Johnny would later spend most of his childhood and youth on the ruins of that city - in fact the final city lost in battle by the Allied Forces before they achieved their final victory over Nazi Germany, some eight months later.

His early childhood years would turn out not to be the easiest for young Johnny, because he was born from a marriage most unusual for those days - namely that between a Dutchman and a German woman.

Later he would become well known for his "primordial verse", as he used to call them; poetry back at its very roots, in the cradle of humanity from which emanate but hoarse and raw screams and sounds that lack almost all resemblance with actual words and the meaning that should normally follow from them.

Johnny van Doorn was not very popular early in his career, because not just his poetry, but his entire posture, as well as his frantic and openly demonstrated drug abuse used to have an extremely offensive effect on lots of people during those otherwise so orderly and flegmatic postwar decades in the Netherlands, when nobody had heard of "flower power", student uproars, hippies or any other "altered states of perception" yet.

However, later on many people would come to embrace exactly those qualities of Johnny and his writing, that had made him such a loner before. The tide had truly changed in his favour, and he loved every minute of it.

Van Doorn died on 26 January 1991 in Amsterdam, at the age of 46.[1]

Namesake[edit]

A Dutch bi-annual Prize for Spoken Literature and a square in the centre of Arnhem are both named after him.

Bibliography[edit]

Poetry
  • (1966) Een nieuwe mongool as Johnny the Selfkicker
  • (1968) Een heilige huichelaar as Johnny the Selfkicker
  • (1994) Verzamelde gedichten
Prose
  • (1972) Mijn kleine hersentjes
  • (1977) De geest moet waaien
  • (1984) Gevecht tegen het zuur
  • (1986) Langzame wals
  • (1988) Door de weken heen: dagboeken
  • (1990) De lieve vrede: legendarische momenten 1944-1990

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b (Dutch) G.J. van Bork, "Doorn, Johnny van", Schrijvers en dichters, 2003. Retrieved on 2013-12-14.