Thursday, March 20, 2008

Author Hugo Claus, writer of 'The Sorrow of Belgium,' dead at 78

\Writer Hugo Claus — an artist, poet, playwright and novelist whose books painted a scathing picture of repression and hypocrisy in bourgeois Flanders — died Wednesday by euthanasia, his wife said. He was 78.

Claus, who had Alzheimer's disease, died at Middelheim Hospital in Antwerp. "He himself picked the moment of his death and asked for euthanasia," not wanting to extend his suffering, his wife, Veerle De Wit, said in a statement.

Claus produced some 200 works during his career but was best known for his classic, "The Sorrow of Belgium" — a scathing attack on social injustice, stifling family relationships and Roman Catholic repression in his native Flanders in northern Belgium. "I am a person who is unhappy with things as they stand. We cannot accept the world as it is. Each day we should wake up foaming at the mouth because of the injustice of things," he said in a magazine interview more than a decade ago.

He was married several times, including to actress Sylvia Kristel, star of the 1970s erotic movie series "Emmanuelle." you got my attention! MORE

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