Coen Simon

© Reyer Boxem
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Coen Simon

1972, lives in the northern Dutch province of Groningen. Writer, philosopher.

Coen Simon is a writer and philosopher. He is the author of a number of books including Waarom we onszelf zoeken maar niet vinden. Zelfhulp voor denkers, tobbers en narcisten (Why We Seek But Cannot Find Ourselves: Self-Help for Thinkers, Worriers and Narcissists, 2011), Zo begint iedere ziener. Een filosofische ontdekking van de wereld (This Is How Every Visionary Begins: A Philosophical Discovery of the World, 2010) and En toen wisten we alles (And Then We Knew Everything, 2011), which won him the Dutch Socrates Challenge Cup for the ‘most urgent, original and stimulating’ philosophy book of 2012. With his provocative ideas, Simon has been an influential contributor to the public debate on contemporary themes ranging from animal rights, monarchy, spirituality and religion to neuroscience, happiness and the cult of the self. In his latest book, Filosoferen is makkelijker als je denkt (Philosophising is Easier If You Think, 2015), he makes short shrift of the clichés and dogmas of our time. His work has been translated into four languages.

Links   Dutch Foundation for Literature   Translations   Ambo | Anthos   WBG

Recently translated into German

Waiting for Happiness, A Philosophy of Desire
WBG Verlag, 2015
Translated by Ira Wilhelm
Original title: Wachten op geluk (Ambo Anthos, 2013)

Modern man wants too much, at least according to his own self-diagnosis. Therefore many of us throw ourselves into self-analysis. Because if we know who we are, we’ll know better what we really want. Yet one question is constantly overlooked: does the world ever offer what we want? In Waiting for Happiness philosopher Coen Simon immerses himself in his own feelings of hope, longing, laziness, love, aggression, impatience and embarrassment, and uncovers a surprising aspect of desire: it is not the fulfilment, but the desire itself that gives meaning to life.
Simon’s writing is flowing and elegant. He touches upon his subject, but without conquering it, and dances around it, but never takes it in his grasp.

De Groene Amsterdammer