The Rediscovery of the Body| De herontdekking van het lichaam
‘My body was something that was carrying my head around, annoyingly slow at that, something that was holding my pen, a necessary evil.’ In The Rediscovery of the Body Bregje Hofstede investigates why she feels alienated from her body. How did the separation between mind and matter come about? How did it play a role in producing the burn-out that she had, when she was 24? How can you write with your body?
Hofstede tells how she ended up getting a burn-out in the first place and how she managed to recover, presenting her research on the societal and philosophical context of her experience. The result is a real-life story about a health craze that is not really about health, but about performing; about the philosophical concept of self-awareness and why this is rarely applied to the body; and about what happens if you try to combine the two nonetheless.
Hofstede recounts how her tumultuous Rediscovery of the Body influenced her daily writing. She researches what it means to be a writing body, and in how far it matters to be a writing female body.
There are countless self-help books about stress, on the internet practical tips can be found by the dozen. Do yoga, be mindful, drink spinach shakes and fennel tea! One out of seven Dutch citizens is fighting with symptoms of burn-out. But the health regime that is the societal answer, with its food fanaticism and optimization gadgets, does not really seem to provide the necessary relief. Luckily, Bregje Hofstede has written a novel with a radically different approach to the topic!
Praise for The Rediscovery of the Body:
‘Hofstede covers a wide literary spectrum from dreamy fiction to hard-boiled essay-writing. As scientific as it is heartfelt.’ – Hollands Maandblad
‘The Rediscovery of the Body is full of strong images: Hofstede on a park bench, calling her father in panic, because she doesn't know how to walk anymore, or Hofstede, who is holding her new born nephew in her arms. There are more. Whether she discusses her burn-out, other writers and thinkers or incidents of her life, Bregje Hofstede keeps repeating the key message and constantly strengthens and deepens it a bit further: don’t live against, but with your body.’ – 8weekly
‘In The Rediscovery of the Body the author examines where the separation of body and mind stems from, she points out the dangers of extensive obsession with health and puts her finger on the source of her dissatisfaction with her body during a travel through the Middle East: the role of her gender.’ – This is how we read
'Bregje Hofstede doesn't provide any tips, catharsis is lacking, but the book inspires to think about physical and mental health and the connection between the two.’–Letter&Geest