My name is René Kooiker, a twenty-year-old Dutchman and a third-year student at Amherst College. I study literature and culture, anglophone and francophone.
At the moment I’m taking courses at Université Paris 8 and trying to visit all museums in Paris. I also translate, write, and play music occasionally.
I’m thinking about a senior thesis about Rilke in English and French translation, and about the vast differences in the reception of his work in the U.S. and France.
The title of the site is a reference to Rilke’s only novel, called “The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge, which was inspired by his years in Paris. Fun Fact: Rilke’s original first name was also René, but he changed it to Rainer when his crush told him it was too effeminate-it had to be more Germanic.
I’ll probably go to grad school eventually, but I want to live outside of academia for a couple of years first-almost definitely in Europe, probably in Paris (I love it already).
You can find me on social media but I prefer email for actual communication. The contact page should work.
I just started this site but older publications should be up soon.