"We want the ogre to come into our garden because that’s what excites us. But at the same time we know that maybe it’s going to destroy everything." Leïla Slimani
Posts tagged "Dutch"
The crossing

The crossing

The girls on the top deck brush the hair from their faces. The hazy blue mountain ranges, rising on both sides of the Strait. The places you will never go, the life there. Ilham’s eyes wander over the mountains of the Rif, the country they are leaving behind. Why did they stay so long in...
Boy wanderer

Boy wanderer

One of the most intense pleasures that can overcome any translator is the joy you feel when you take a book you’ve been hungering after for decades and run it through the mill of your imagination. That was my good fortune with The Evenings by Gerard Reve. Written back in 1947 and first published in...
Catching the past

Catching the past

In 2014, Otto de Kat wrote a short essay for PEN, where he gives a poetic yet also practical definition of the art and skill of writing historical fiction, of crafting novels whose life must be fictional, and yet feistily rooted in factual reality. This genre has been his own home since 1998, when he...
Erwin Mortier: History is debate

Erwin Mortier: History is debate

Erwin Mortier’s meticulously crafted novels about memory, language and identity are acclaimed across the world and his latest, an attempt to plug a surprising gap in Belgian literature about the Great War, was immediately dubbed a modern classic. I catch up with him on the release of the English-language edition. MR: Your first three novels...
Swarms and sorrows

Swarms and sorrows

He frequently took me on trips with him when the war was over and he meticulously documented what I call the congealing, the great levelling, in all respects after the ravages and the euphoria of peace. The smoothing-over of the tormented earth. The cemeteries where the fallen were gradually put in straighter and straighter ranks,...