Jan Blokker

Jan Blokker

Jan Blokker in 1966
Born Jan Andries Blokker, Sr.
(1927-05-27)May 27, 1927
Admiralenbuurt, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died July 6, 2010(2010-07-06) (aged 83)
Occupation Writer, journalist

Jan Andries Blokker, Sr. (May 27, 1927 – July 6, 2010) was a Dutch journalist, columnist, publicist, writer,[1] and amateur historian. In The Netherlands, Blokker was best known for his columns in De Volkskrant, which he wrote between 1968 and 2006.


Blokker, born in the Admiralenbuurt in Amsterdam, grew up in a secular liberal family. His father was office clerk. At the age of seven, he and his father weekly visited the Cineac theatre for the Polygoon newsreel.

Blokker went to the HBS on the Keizersgracht. In 1944, after getting his gymnasium-alpha diploma, he went on to study Neerlandistiek and history. He never completed them.

In 1950, Blokker made his debut as a novelist with the novelle Séjour, for which he won the Reina Prinsen Geerligs award. Two more novels followed, Bij dag en ontij (1952) and Parijs, dode stad (1954). In 1952, Blokker became student reporter for the Dutch newspaper Het Parool. After a while, Simon Carmiggelt asked him to write film reviews. In 1954 he became film critic at Algemeen Handelsblad. At the art section of the news paper, he met important Dutch writers like Henk Hofland and Harry Mulisch.

Blokker was also a screenwriter, who wrote the scripts for films like Fanfare by Bert Haanstra (1958) and Makkers Staakt uw Wild Geraas by Fons Rademakers (1960) and Monsieur Hawarden (1969).[2] He was also one of the people behind the satirical VARA TV-program Zo is het toevallig ook nog eens een keer (1963–1964). At another broadcasting organisation, VPRO, he became editor in chief. He was partly responsible for the revolutionary course that organisation took. He also provided VPRO's documentaries with commentary.

From 1968 on, he worked for De Volkskrant as a columnist. In the 1960s and 1970s, he was seen as the voice of the intellectual left, specialized in satirical pieces about politics, current affairs and whatever was fashionable with the left-wing readers of the newspaper. Between 1978 and 1983, he was adjunct editor in chief at the newspaper. He wrote the column until 2006, when a conflict forced him to leave the newspaper. He continued his column for nrc.next.


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