Carnival, Fly-on-the-wall portraits of Brussels cafés [new]
BOOK LAUNCH, Barbeton, 114 Rue Antoine Dansaert, Brussels 1000@ 11am, Friday 19 May 2023. Reservations: email@example.com
This city guide is a love letter by Irish writer Rua Breathnach to the cafés of Brussels: privileged spaces in the city where one finds a sense of belonging and the pleasure of watching life pass like a carnival before one's eyes. With blunt honesty and black humor, this fly-on-the-wall portrait captures the special atmosphere and culture of these homes away from home.
“I worked like a Trojan over the winter,” says the owner after a while, “and now the wife's at me. "Darling," she says. 'You're killing yourself. Why don't you take a little holiday?' For thefirst time in thirty years I've decided to shut the bar for a few days next week and go fishing in the Ardennes. It'll be strange thinking of this place locked up and empty.”
“It is always fascinating to hear how other residents of Brussels, washed up from the four corners of the world, view, listen to and touch my native city… Brussels remains its own unpredictable, anarchic, polyphonic self. This book draws a portrait of that constantly escaping city” - Geert van Istendael
“For the late great Flemish-Brussels poet and café lover Jan Van Nijlen (1884-1965), a bar was a home, a fatherland. Carnival is an exploration of this universe in carefully framed snapshots” -Pascal Verbeken