The shape of sound

A beautiful book…Verwijmeren is a writer par excellence. – Literair Nederland

A rich book full of stimulating ideas that always make you hungry for more… music magisterially transformed into language… – De Groene Amsterdammer

Verwijmerens acute tone and passionate narrative betray a personal involvement. He tries to make the inaudible sound. A fierce mission. (****) – NRC Handelsblad

Fascinating… a beautifully composed picture of the biopsychosocial nature of tinnitus. Verwijmerens ‘learning history’ of sound impresses. – Medisch Contact

The stylistic flexibility is breathtaking… De vorm van geluid is a beautiful novel. – Mappilibri (Belgium)

Reading this novel sharpens the senses. – Tertio (Belgium)

I am very grateful to Gregor for putting the almost unspeakable into words. Finally a very rich and beautifully evocative account of what tinnitus does to you. – A reader

Your beautiful book has often made me cry. I thank you for that. Tinnitus since 1975. – A reader

Very interesting and fascinating. – Maarten ‘t Hart

Written in beautiful prose.
– Biblion review

Gregor Verwijmeren
De vorm van geluid (The shape of sound)

Van Oorschot publishers, novel, 249 p., € 19,99

In De vorm van geluid, a music cataloguer is confronted with sounds in his head – whistling, hissing and rustling – that drive him to the brink of madness. How does he, whose days and thoughts are filled with music and for whom sound equals ecstasy, deal with this? He goes on a quest for insight and salvation, which takes him past healers and fellow sufferers, musicians and sound philosophers. The author takes us on a journey along with his protagonist and does not shy away from deeper questions, such as: What is the meaning of sound in a culture dominated by material and visual things? Silence, that rare thing: what does it tell us, and is it really natural?

Verwijmeren has written more than the history of a growing phenomenon: a sound sketch of our time, an ode to music, and a sensitive description of his own origins and family. The essence of the novel is in a polyphony that makes sounds as important as characters, creating a narrative that will make the reader listen to the world in new and different ways.

De vorm van geluid is the first novel about tinnitus published by a mainstream publisher. Gregor is currently working on his second novel, for which he received a grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature as one among eight writers. With the British-Dutch composer Dominy Clements he is writing a libretto for an opera based on De vorm van geluid. April 2021 he will attend the European First Novel Festival in Budapest (postponed due to Covid) as the Dutch representative.

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Some quotes and sounds from the novel (in Dutch) and a playlist with the music in the novel.

Interview VPRO Boeken (Dutch TV): Symphonie in blue with Carolina Lo Galbo. Subtitles in Dutch

The shape of sound in concert: