a common reader

J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country

October 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country

J.L. Carr, A Month in the Country

A Month in the Country J.L. Carr taal: Engelsgepubliceerd door: The Harvester Pressdeze editie: 1982bindwijze: gebondenisbn: 0855273283pagina’s: 111 verworven via: Abebooks Tom Birkin is a World War I veteran employed to uncover a mural in a village church that was thought to exist under coats of whitewash. At the same time another veteran is employed […]

Per Olov Enquist, Der Besuch des Leibarztes

October 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Per Olov Enquist, Der Besuch des Leibarztes

Per Olov Enquist, Der Besuch des Leibarztes

“Op 5 april 1768 werd Johann Friedrich Struensee als lijfarts van de Deense koning Christian VII aangesteld en vier jaar later terechtgesteld.”
Zo begint nogal ad rem de roman van de Zweedse schrijver Per Olov Enquist. In deze historische schildering laat hij politiek, psychologie, macht en liefde versmelten rond de geesteszieke koning. De toevallig aanwezige Struensee weet, gevoed door de verlichtingsideeën van Rousseau een machtsvacuüm te vullen en een ‘revolutie van boven’ door te zetten. Terwijl de koning steeds meer de greep op de werkelijkheid verliest, wordt de lijfarts niet alleen Deens alleenheerser maar ook geliefde van koningin Caroline Mathilde, die hem een dochter schenkt. Struensee geraakt in de destructieve maalstroom van de macht en na een gelukkige zomer op slot Hirschholm maakt een coup een einde aan het ‘tijdperk Struensee’.

Amélie Nothomb, Hygiène de l’assassin

September 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Maarten | Comments Off on Amélie Nothomb, Hygiène de l’assassin

Amélie Nothomb, Hygiène de l’assassin

Prétextat Tach, prix Nobel de littérature, n’a plus que deux mois à vivre. Des journalistes du monde entier sollicitent des interviews de l’écrivain, que sa misanthropie tient reclus depuis des années. Quatre seulement vont le rencontrer, dont il se jouera selon une dialectique où la mauvaise foi et la logique se télescopent. La cinquième lui tiendra tête, il se prendra au jeu.

Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

September 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Maarten | Comments Off on Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

In this – simply one of the finest historical novels in years – the opulent, brutal world of the Tudors comes to glittering, bloody life. It is the backdrop to the rise and rise of Thomas Cromwell: lowborn boy, charmer, bully, master of deadly intrigue, and, finally, most powerful of all Henry VIII’s courtiers.

Nabokov, Novels 1955–1962

September 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Nabokov, Novels 1955–1962

Nabokov, Novels 1955–1962

Lolita (1955), Nabokov’s single most famous work, is one of the most controversial and widely read books of its time. Funny, satiric, poignant, filled with allusions to earlier American writers, it is the “confession” of a middle-aged, sophisticated European émigré’s passionate obsession with a 12-year-old American “nymphet,” and the story of their wanderings across a late 1940s America of highways and motels.

Pnin (1957) is a comic masterpiece about a gentle, bald Russian émigré professor in an American college town who is never quite able to master its language, its politics, or its train schedule. Nabokov’s years as a teacher provided rich background for this satirical picture of academic life, with an unforgettable figure at its center: “It was the world that was absent-minded and it was Pnin whose business it was to set it straight. His life was a constant war with insensate objects that fell apart, or attacked him, or refused to function, or viciously got themselves lost as soon as they entered the sphere of his existence.”

Pale Fire (1962) is a tour de force in the form of an ostensibly autobiographical poem by a recently deceased American poet and a critical commentary by an academic who is something other than what he seems. Its unique structure, pitting artist against seemingly worshipful critic, sets the stage for some of Nabokov’s most intricate games of deception and concealment.

Nabokov, Novels and Memoirs 1941–1951

September 21st, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Nabokov, Novels and Memoirs 1941–1951

Nabokov, Novels and Memoirs 1941–1951

The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, the first novel Nabokov wrote in English, published a year after he settled in the US, is a tantalizing literary mystery in which a writer’s half brother searches to unravel the enigma of the life of a famous author.

Bend Sinister (1947), Nabokov’s most explicitly political novel, is the haunting, dreamlike story of Adam Krug, a quiet philosophy professor caught up in the bureaucratic bungling of a totalitarian police state. “I am neither a didacticist nor an allegorizer,” Nabokov affirms in his introduction to the novel, but goes on to state: “There can be distinguished, no doubt, certain reflections in the glass caused by idiotic and despicable regimes that we all know and that have brushed against me in the course of my life: worlds of tyranny and torture, of Fascists and Bolshevists, of Philistine thinkers and jack-booted baboons.”

Speak, Memory: An Autobiography Revisited (1951; revised 1966), Nabokov’s memoir of his childhood in imperial Russia and exile in Europe, is central to an understanding of his art. “I have to make a rapid inventory of the universe…I have to have all space and all time participate in my emotion, in my mortal love,” he writes toward the end of the book, “so that the edge of its mortality is taken off, thus helping me to fight the utter degradation, ridicule, and horror of having developed an infinity of sensation and thought within a finite existence.”

Nadine Gordimer, July’s People

September 20th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Nadine Gordimer, July’s People

Nadine Gordimer, July’s People

For years, it has been what is called a ‘deteriorating situation’. Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family – liberal whites – are rescued from the terror by their servant, July, who leads them to refuge in his native village. What happens to the Smaleses and to July – the shifts in character and relationships – gives us an unforgettable look into the terrifying, tacit understandings and misunderstandings between blacks and whites.

Anne Frank, Het achterhuis

August 9th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Anne Frank, Het achterhuis

Anne Frank, Het achterhuis

Anne Frank hield van 12 juni 1942 tot 1 augustus 1944 een dagboek bij. Zij schreef haar brieven alleen voor zichzelf, tot ze in de lente van 1944 op radio Oranje de minister van Onderwijs, Kunsten en Wetenschappen in ballingschap, Bolkestein, hoorde spreken. Hij zei dat na de oorlog alle getuigenissen van het lijden van het Nederlandse volk onder de Duitse bezetting verzameld en openbaar moesten worden gemaakt. Als voorbeeld noemde hij onder andere dagboeken. Onder de indruk van deze redevoering besloot Anne Frank na de oorlog een boek te publiceren. Haar dagboek zou daarvoor als basis dienen.

Nadine Gordimer, The House Gun

August 6th, 2014  |  by  |  published in Boeken Janantoon | Comments Off on Nadine Gordimer, The House Gun

Nadine Gordimer, The House Gun

The end of the twentieth century, South Africa. The successful, respected executive director of an insurance company, Harold, and his doctor wife, Claudia, for whom violence could never be a means of solving personal conflict, are faced with something that could never happen to them: their son has committed murder. What kind of loyalty do a mother and a father owe a son who has committed this unimaginable horror? What have they done, in influencing his character; more ominously, where is it they have failed him? The House Gun is a passionate narrative of love being particularly complex between parents and their children. It moves with the restless pace of living itself, from the intimate to the general condition; if it is a parable of present violence, it is also an affirmation of the will to human reconciliation that starts where it must, between individuals.



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