Biography and Psychoanalysis: Ida Simons. Pianist, writer, survivor

Stichting Perdu - Simons-ida
15 Feb at 20:00 | Walk-in from 19:30. Tickets: Regular €12.50, Livestream €8. Language: Dutch.

Breukvlakken in collaboration with the Psychoanalysis and Culture Foundation, is organising the third evening in the new season of the successful series THE BIOGRAPHY IN PSYCHOANALYSE. Mieke Tillema will talk about her biography Ida Simons. Pianiste, schrijfster, overlevende (Cossee, 2021).

Ida Simons (1911-1960) is a virtually forgotten writer. But through the reissue of her brilliant, slightly cynical and semi-autobiographical novel De dwaze maagd (Cossee, 2014) and through Mieke Tillema’s extensively documented biography Ida Simons. Pianiste, schrijfster, overlevende (Cossee, 2021), she was brought fully back to life. And what a life. As the only child of her German father Rosenheimer and her Dutch-English mother Vecht, who made each other’s lives miserable in their hometown of Antwerp, playing the piano is THE outlet for her. Ida enters into a (happy) marriage with the also Jewish Mr. David Simons in Scheveningen, and becomes a more or less celebrated pianist. Until the Second World War breaks out. The Simons family survives, but don’t ask how. This experience exacerbates her melancholy, which Ida herself called ‘an inherited burden’. She experiences her literary breakthrough with De dwaze maagd (1959), but dies shortly afterwards, most likely self-inflicted.

Psychiatrist/psychoanalytic psychotherapist Greet Kuipers gives her views in the afterword. Moderator is Annelies van Hees.

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