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Aristide von Bienefeldt (1964) organized, in the Paris of the Eighties, 'soirées masquées'. Themes like 'S&M' and 'Transvestism' attracted more publicity than themes like 'Haute Couture' or 'Disguise yourself as your favourite author'. Today he corresponds with elder B-film actresses and wrongly condemned prisoners from all over the world. Aristide von Bienefeldt commutes between Paris and London. Confessions of a Son and Heir is his first novel. In 2003 A Decent Young Man was published. At present Aristide von Bienefeldt works on his third novel: Walter's Birthday.

Confessions of a Son and Heir

Confessions of a Son and Heir is the story of a young man who is driven by an unlimited sexual hunger to experience the seamy side of life in Paris and in London, at the time of millennium change. He vacillates between life and death, spitting on petty bourgeois morals. In the meantime he fights against the consequences of a nervous breakdown that paralyses his spirit like a diabolical conspiracy. The young man, called Aristide, is the product of the alliance of an aristocratic lineage and a traditional Dutch family of farmers. In less than half a century the noble ancestors dissipated a fortune they had acquired in a highly dubious fashion, while the peasant forefathers tried to ensure themselves a place in paradise, by means of hard labour and multiple copulations blessed by God’s own hand. In order to get the most out of his life, Aristide turns every second inside out. In turn Confessions of a Son and Heir is highly comic and bitter, sensitive and ironic. In short: a novel generally of love.

February 2004: Aristide von Bienefeldt was chosen as one of the thirteen most promising young authors of 2003 by Magazijn (The Dutch Granta).

Some releases of the Dutch and the Flemish press:

In The Odours of the Reprehensible (essays on the reprehensible in modern literature, focusing on destruction, psychosis, outburst, marginalisation, castration, masochisme, excrements, perversion, ecstasy - Meulenhoff, Amsterdam 2004), Hugo Bousset dedicates a chapter to Aristide von Bienefeldt (The Urge to Fill, about Aristide von Bienefeldt and Georges Bataille):
Whilst reading the first novel of Aristide von Bienefeldt, Confessions of a Son and Heir, two things came to my mind. First: finally an interesting debut, a novel that thrills me. Secondly: I am going to re-read books of Georges Bataille and about Georges Bataille, from which the work of Von Bienefeldt have arisen.

NRC Handelsblad (national daily newspaper): There are indeed reasons to believe that an experimented author hides behind Aristide von Bienefeldt: he writes on a very fluid way, although sometimes he lacks depth. He shows an great desire to parody (in the genre of 'sexual confession' novels) - which could be very typical for a famous author who feels the need to write a novel 'between two others'.
But it is not easy to say who is the writer who felt like writing this novel 'between two others'. There are not many similarities with the style of Grunberg, but we can not be certain. Gerard Reve is too old, so, in fact it could be anybody: Gerrit Komrij, Oscar van den Boogard, Geerten Meijsing. Or - why not? - a real débutant (let us say: Andries Boonstra or Anneke van der Boon) ( = Dutch variations of the nom de plume) who uses a pseudonym too beautiful to be true, in order to be different from hundreds of others who try to get their books published.
If this is the case, he managed and he deserves it. It is a great pleasure to read Confessions of a Son and Heir, if it were only for the comical predictability that each man who crosses Aristide's path, ends up having sex with him. 'Being fucked so as not to be forgotten' could be my trademark, he writes.

De Standaard (national daily newspaper, flemish): True, in turn Confessions of a Son and Heir is a humoristic novel [...]. Von Bienefeldt is not without talent. Someone who is able to write two sentences like these, one after the other, does make a person laugh: One day I walked around with three eggs in my rectum for eight hours. It was the day my grandmother celebrated her ninety-fifth birthday. 

Leidsch Dagblad (regional daily newspaper): It is true, the good-humoured character of our hero offers us some witty descriptions, while his command of the language (although sometimes a bit old-fashioned) is considerable.

De Volkskrant (national daily newspaper): In turn, 'Confessions of a Son and Heir' is a humoristic picaresque novel in which one feels sometimes a real despair. It is obvious that the destiny of this masculin Eline Vere is a tragical one.

Haarlems Dagblad (regional daily newspaper): Unquestionably written by a master's hand.

Nederlands Dagblad (national daily newspaper): His style is unbelievably good for a débutant.