Trudie Favié inherited his love of literature from his father, Amsterdam bookseller Nico Favié. As a student, she helped him in his shop in the Rijnstraat, which was crammed with tall piles of books. She got to know his customers there. Among them were older German Jews who had fled Hitler in the 1930s and piqued her interest during that period. “The war was still very much alive in that area in the early 1980s,” says Dick Schram, professor emeritus at the Free University and customer of the Favié bookstore in the 1970s.
With Schram, in 2006 Trudie would receive his doctorate in Armando’s poetry, whose oeuvre is closely linked to that war. “It was a phenomenal dissertation that opened up Armando’s poetry. Trudie had a great ability to dive into and analyze a literary text. Armando was present at her promotion and was very pleased. “
By 1999 and 2003, Trudie had already delivered his collected poetry and collected prose, providing them with an afterword. After his Ph.D. she was asked to make an anthology of Armando’s Berlin books. “Trudie was the expert on Armando’s literary work,” says publisher Tilly Hermans. “When she expressed the desire to write his biography, we had discussions with Armando about it. He trusted her and would not stand in her way. She has collected a lot of material from archives and private collections and has done interviews with people who knew Armando well. But then the disease struck, and she gradually became more and more confused, which made it difficult to write. It hit her hard. “
Meanwhile, Trudie and her husband Jan Brugge had become friends with Armando. “He came regularly to eat with us,” says Jan. – Afterwards we watched football together.
Trudie Favié was born in 1964 into a Catholic family in Amsterdam. The Faviés family soon moved to Amstelveen, where another son and daughter were born. At the Sint Nicolaaslyceum in Amsterdam, Trudie contracted mononucleosis. Her health remained weak thereafter, but she took advantage of her illness by reading. Around the age of twenty, she was now studying French at the Free University, she was diagnosed with MS. Once, Dick Schram was in the elevator with her when she suddenly could not walk anymore. “She did not have her crutches with her, and for a moment she did not know what to do any more.”
After graduating in literature, she led reading clubs at home. She also translated the letters from the French anarchist Alexander Cohen and with her friend Marya de Haas, will by the French priest-philosopher Abbé Pierre.
During Trudie’s funeral on April 13 in Hilversum, Marya recalled that collaboration. She called will a text about “a world where people are damaged, where people miss the boat, where life is not perfect.” Those were words that could apply to Trudie herself. “There was always a downfall over her life,” Dick Schram says. “She was injured.”
Lecture on Armando
In 1990, Trudie met the engineer Jan Brugge, who oversaw the maintenance of her basement. They got to talking and it quickly turned out that they shared their sense of dry humor. The following year, they married. They had two daughters, Charlotte (1996) and Maria (1999).
The family lived in a beautiful house, the thesis progressed. Every year they went on a camping holiday to France. With adequate rest, MS seemed manageable. But Trudie’s mental abilities also deteriorated unnoticed, which later turned out to be due to additional Alzheimer’s. Jan: “At the beginning of 2006, she was to give a lecture on Armando in Vorden. When we got into the car, it turned out that she did not yet have a letter on paper. Since I too was well versed in his life and work, I dictated to her the structure within which she should tell her story during that trip. That lecture was well received by the public at the time. “
Things went wrong in 2013 when Trudie fell and ended up in the hospital. She spent eight months in a rehabilitation center in Amsterdam. After that, she sat permanently in a wheelchair. Jan: “Her memory failed her more and more, and her self-confidence became as a result. So she thought she could walk, and then she fell again, so I had to pay extra attention to her. ”
In September 2018, she was admitted to the nursing home Zonnehoeve in Hilversum. As far as she could, she remained active with words. She even wrote lyrics to Ramses Shaffy’s song “Let me”. Earlier this year, Zonnehoeves’ location manager sang it. In a video, Trudie can be seen listening to it: ‘I am Trudie and I want to be free / A good conversation is what I miss./ You can still wish for so much./ But it remains as it is.’
On April 5, Trudie was hospitalized with, among other things, a perforated appendix. Jan hurried over to her. When he went home late at night, she said, “Roll me to the exit.” She died the next morning at six o’clock.
A version of this article was also published in the newspaper on May 7, 2022