Willem Elsschot

Alphonsus Josephus de Ridder (7 May 1882 - 31 May 1960), was a Flemish writer and poet who wrote under the pseudonym Willem Elsschot (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈβ̞iləm ˈʔɛlsxɔt]. A number of his works have been translated into English. de Ridder was born in Antwerp to a baker's family. During secondary school, he developed a love for literature. He was quite restless, having various types of jobs in cities from Antwerp and Brussels to Rotterdam and Paris. During the First World War, he served as the secretary of a national food relief committee in Antwerp. After the war he started his own advertising agency, which he ran until his death. de Ridder died in Antwerp in 1960, receiving a national literary award posthumously. He is interred in the Antwerpen Schoonselhof. de Ridder, writing as Elsschot, published poems in a magazine titled "Alvoorder". His writing became popular while he worked in Rotterdam, where he wrote Villa des Roses (1913). His most famous work came in the 1920s and 1930s: Lijmen (1924), Kaas (1933), Tsjip (1934) en Het Been (1938). Central themes in his work are business and family life.

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