On 1 November , Gerard Reve published what was to become one of the classics of Dutch literature. Set during the last ten dark days of , the story. Buy De Avonden by Gerard Reve (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The Evenings, by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch, De Avonden, by Sam Garrett, published by Pushkin Press, London, Jan. 31
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Pretty much nothing happened in each episode, yet, it was entertaining. Not going big and dramatic ensured that every incident in their lives were magnified and amplified to be visible and important.
How arrogant to presume that you could teach in addition to entertaining. The minimalism has to be rigorous, directed and consistent in order for it to work.
Things turned out differently.
Init was chosen as one of the ten best Dutch novels of all time by the newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Frits has a range of odd friends, sad old parents, and an apparently very dull job as a clerk. He and his friends philosophize, they go to movies, they walk around.
So much for the plot. Frits is severely stressed.
De avonden. Een winterverhaal
His dreams get more vivid than his actual life or his surroundings, which are uniformly post-war drab, grey, uneventful, and poverty-stricken. He is obsessed with baldness.
Or, how to smoke a cigarette correctly. Yerard unbuttoned his shirt, slid his hand under his singlet and ran his fingers across his chest. He sniffed at the finger and gerarrd it on his handkerchief. Every afternoon he fears the coming evening — how on earth will he pass the time? How long can he get out of the small apartment — if he walks slower, takes another route, can he avoid getting avojden early? The dog gave a yelp, which turned into a long howl.
When his parents argue, he is like a child who thinks if he cannot hear someone, they cannot hear him. Nothing is what I hear. When the voices grew louder, he chanted to himself. It is as though he has penned a portrait of the embodiment of the Agonden in the post-WWII years, filled with relentlessly upbeat, social and cheerful interactions in public, and dreadful, maddening, quiet desperation inside themselves and at home.
All the characters are like that; his crazy friend who is a semi-criminal, his brother, his friends from school. Perhaps, erve someone who has survived the Nazi occupation of his country, just being able to live is enough, nightmares notwithstanding.
The Evenings – Wikipedia
One of the features of Dutch is that it uses diminutive forms of words, as a way of expressing intimacy or familiarity — or superiority. Geratd suffixes -je, -tje and -pje is added to just about every noun and some adverbs.
Avonxen would have been one of the difficulties of translating the book, since English simply does not have this. For instance, in Dutch one passage reads:.
Hij hield hem een doos je kleine sigaar tjes voor. Always up for that, right? Garrett chose to translate it without the diminutives — and in any case, I think it is idiomatically impossible to do. I think Garrett did about as good as job as one could. Reve was one of the first homosexual authors to come out in the Netherlands.
Reve himself declared that the primary message in all of his work was salvation from the material world we live in.
He often wrote ironically or humorously about these topics, and people were not always sure what his beliefs actually were. Reve was inclined to contentious points of view, and understandably, due to his personal circumstances, he hated the Dutch government. He caused an uproar when he said that Apartheid was based on Christian ethics, not politics. He got the idea sort of right, but not the reasons.
This continued for decades, with all its implications, until the NGK Synod ofafter which church members, and later the Synod itself, indeclared Apartheid to be a sin rather than the will of God. It was first released on 1 November gerqrd Why did Gerard Reve write this novel in the first place? All quiet on the surface, legs pedalling frantically below Scene from the film of De Avondenshowing Frits having dinner with his parents Source: Published by De Bezige Bij, More pages from the graphic novel, here.
Gerard Reve: De avonden [The Evenings] – The Modern Novel
A note about the translation One of the features of Dutch is that it uses diminutive forms of words, as a way of expressing intimacy or familiarity — or superiority. For instance, in Dutch one passage reads: Garrett translated this as: From the archives… Reve was inclined to contentious points of view, and understandably, due to his personal circumstances, he hated the Dutch government.
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