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Paul van Ostaijen was born in 1896 in Belguim. As a young man he fled Belgium becasue of political entanglements. In Berlin he met a number of Dadaists, and it was Dadaistic iconoclasm that first inspired his satires, which he called "grotesques." He wrote in Dutch. His writing did not bring him financial success and he began experiments with cocaine. In 1921 he returned to Antwerp only to be immediately drafted and sent back to Germany as a soldier in the Belgian occupation forces. After his discharge he started an art gallery, which failed, and then tried supporting himself as a journalist while continuing his writing. In 1928, at the age of thirty-two, he died of tuberculosis. One collection of his stories has appeared in English, entitled Patriotism, Inc. and Other Tales.