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Imagine by Nicole des Bouvrie, taken on the Estonian sea shores during the summer session organised by Nordic Summer University in 2019.

Dutch historian Rutger Bregman asks the question whether people are inherently bad or good. Should we follow Hobbes’ view that civilisation is necessary in order to keep the bad at bay, or should we listen to Rousseau who claimed that it was civilisation that had corrupted men? In his book ‘De meeste mensen deugen’ (which will be published in English in a few days as ‘ Humankind: A Hopeful History ‘) Bregman analyses a ton of scientific research — from archaeology to psychology, biology and political scientific research — to show that although we tell ourselves differently, mankind is inherently…

Reflection on the effect of attacking questions when the aim is to create a space for thinking together.

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Some weeks ago I attended a feminist philosophy seminar. A whole week, organised by the Nordic Summer University, in which in total nine different weekly seminars are held simultaneously. One of which I have been attending now for three years: the feminist philosophy circle led by three courageous women. It is an interdisciplinary group, without hierarchies, where bachelor students and emiritus professors get equal space and attention, and increasingly intersectional. It is a week I long for, look forward to, every year. I am not sure what to do without it anymore. And why? …

A Meditation on Loss

Two years after she risked her life for the last time, this feeling of loss is still vivid. So I will share it with you, so that maybe it may inspire someone to read her work.

Anne Dufourmantelle looking directly into the camera, not afraid to be seen and to see what is real
Anne Dufourmantelle looking directly into the camera, not afraid to be seen and to see what is real
Anne Dufourmantelle, image from Fordham Publishing

At first there is nothing at all. A silence that is persuasive, that leads nowhere and that asks you to follow in its footsteps.

At first there is disbelief. A search for truth that extends to nothing but the very fact you want to un-hear. The search that leads only deeper into the woods, into a translation that cannot be undone.

Anne Dufourmantelle has died.

And then, everything hits you at once. It is so much that you don’t know where to begin. …

As a child I thought I despised repetition. Little did I know that I actually loved it, and practiced it. Just not at school.

“Skill development depends on repetition…” I am reading a book by the American sociologist Richard Sennett on the position and the role of The Craftsman in society. An interesting book. But that sentence would have made me angry. At least, when I was young.

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Fractals show us the beauty and flexibility possible within repetition

When I was a child I was convinced I hated repetition. I hated it all through elementary school and all through high school. At least, that is what I thought. But I was made to repeat tasks that were much too simple for me. …

Remembering Srebrenica as a Dutch person

I must have been no older than nine years old, on a holiday with my family in Austria. Or maybe Italy. We were hiking through the woods. Enjoying the summer. I don’t remember anything of that holiday, except one thing my mother told me.

“Behind these mountains, there is a war going on.”

I looked from my mother to the mountain, and back to my mother. I didn’t hear anything. I couldn’t see anything. What did that mean, a war going on? And why could be we so close and nothing was happening to us? …

And why I’m not going to prison for killing my child

Some months ago I committed murder. Second-degree murder, that is.

As I write this, I am not in prison. I am not even prosecuted. Some might say I’m lucky. And I am. I am lucky to live in a part of the world where I don’t have to be afraid to be put into prison for committing this murder.

I am lucky not to live in the United States of America in 2019.

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If I weren’t so lucky to be living in Europe, I might be questioned. Arrested. Denied medical help. As so many women are.

Instead of being arrested…

A drabble is a story of exactly 100 words. Including the title.

This one was originally written especially for a contest organised by The Writers Block on Steemit, based on the prompt that was given: fighting & rays, which had to somehow be included in the story.

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Image from Pixabay (CC0)


It felt like the thing to do. Slowly I moved on. Everybody thought I was ridiculous, they couldn’t see me moving. But I knew I was going in the right direction, going up. There was no other way to go, fighting against something invisible that tried to keep me in the dark. The lack of resources, of time. Existence seemed meaningless. …

Sometimes it’s good to read between the lines.

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Terms of the Real Unicorn Deal (Unicorn Inc.)

  1. The unicorn will be delivered at agreed upon time and place. (Changes after signing of the contract can no longer be accepted, due to the high interstellar administrative costs.)
  2. Unicorns may differ. Unicorn Inc. is not responsible for biological, emotional, aesthetic or social differences. (What you get is what you get, basically.)
  3. Unicorn remains property of itself, irrespective of local legal rules regarding animals. (Please be aware unicorns dislike being called animals.)
  4. This deal instantly becomes void when these terms are broken. (All involvement of Unicorn Inc. …

Will you take up the Write Club Challenge of June?

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At Write Club we challenge people to write. To sit down behind that blank piece of paper and create a story. Fiction. We are a small group of dedicated writers and in this group we focus on short stories that are somewhere between 1500 and 5000 words. Each month we start off with a prompt, shared by one of the participants.

A prompt from a story

This month it’s up to me to provide a prompt. And I’ve chosen a story by Isaac Bashevis Singer. I’m making my way through a big book of short stories, ‘the best American short stories of the century’ selected…

Monthly challenges that combine reading, writing, editing, peer review and publishing

Write Club boasts a group of dedicated writers motivating each other to write more and to write better stories. If you’re interested to join, please read on to find out more about Write Club, our goals and the challenges we offer.

Write Club is all about community.

Write Club is all about great stories.

Write Club is all about writing.

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Image designed by Jordan Lesich


Finding a group of writers that are actually interested in helping you out, without pretending they know everything better, is not an easy feat. At Write Club we focus on working with a small group of writers from all over…

Nicole des Bouvrie

Writer, teacher & freelance philosopher, PhD. Author of "Why philosophers are crazy” (Damon, 2018). Dutch.

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