To hear a name, a first name, the exclamation: “An exceptional Belgian”, to hear the evocation of sailing in times of peace, the sea in times of war, but also a builder of genius, to listen without moving to so much pride by proxy was inconceivable. Retracing the thread of a life was a call to write, but alas, when the word “end” was written, the publishers replied: “this subject doesn’t fit into our publishing program”. For Gallimard in Paris, “c’est formidable mais trop belge”, was Overlord too Belgian? A year later, in 1988, the specially-created Editions de la Dyle published this first biography under the title ” Dans le sillage de Hugo van Kuyck – Un belge d’expression ” which was a success both in Belgium and abroad.
Uitgeverij De DIJLE was born.
Title after title was published, often in two or three language versions, following in the footsteps of artists, sailors and explorers.
“Are you still interested in the subject? Well, let’s make an appointment…” With these words, Baron Gaston de Gerlache de Gomery kicked off my study of a treasure trove of archives, and 7 years later published 450 pages of history entitled ” The Gerlaches – Three generations of polar explorers”. The story of one of the most beautiful facets of Belgian history.
From meeting to meeting, from manuscript to manuscript, from unobtainable illustration to final proofreading at the printer’s, from articles in the press to “coups de coeur” at Tropisme or Fnac, Ex-Libris, Thalassa, France 3 or Europe 1…, the publishing adventure occasionally left time for writing…
2005 Suddenly my vision blurred, lines lost words, letters danced. The faculty spoke: “What is your profession?”… “No that’s no longer possible.”