Chapel Road (Netherlandic Literature Series)

Overview

According to the author, Chapel Road"is the book about the childhood of Ondine [...] about her brother Valeer-Traleer with his monstrous head wobbling through life this way and that." But the book is about a lot more than that. It is also the story of Louis Paul Boon, an author working on a novel entitled Chapel Road, surrounded by his colorful group of friends. His readers and companions include the painter Tippetotje, who habitually works a naked woman into her paintings, and Johan Janssens, the journalist and ...

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Overview

According to the author, Chapel Road"is the book about the childhood of Ondine [...] about her brother Valeer-Traleer with his monstrous head wobbling through life this way and that." But the book is about a lot more than that. It is also the story of Louis Paul Boon, an author working on a novel entitled Chapel Road, surrounded by his colorful group of friends. His readers and companions include the painter Tippetotje, who habitually works a naked woman into her paintings, and Johan Janssens, the journalist and poet who is fired from the paper for refusing to agree with the Capitalists, the Socialists or the Ultra-Marxists.

Beyond that, Chapel Road includes a retelling of the myth of Reynard the fox and Isengrinus the wolf, a tale that underscores the greed, stupidity, hypocrisy, pride and lust motivating the other characters of the book.

Chapel Road is "a pool, a sea, a chaos: it is the book of all that can be heard and seen in Chapel Road, from the year 1800-and-something until today."

Dalkey Archive Press

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Together with its companion, De Kapellekensbaan, this work is considered Flemish author Boon's masterwork and a highlight of Dutch-language literature. As it was first published in 1956, an English version is long overdue; grants from the Flemish Literary Fund and the PEN Translation Fund facilitated this excellent translation. Set against the backdrop of the world wars, the novel is simultaneously the story of Ondine and Oscarke, a married couple living in the mill town of Termuren near Brussels, and the story of Boon writing Summer in Termuren. Throughout, secondary characters inform the narrative, constantly telling the fictional Boon what should and should not be included in the novel. The result is an important work of early exploratory fiction, but it's not an easy read. Going against literary conventions, Boon uses almost no capital letters and inserts newspaper style headlines throughout. Because casual readers will quickly become overwhelmed when faced with such a style in a novel of this length, this work is recommended for academic libraries only.-Karen Walton Morse, Univ. at Buffalo Libs., NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An important reissue of a classic Dutch novel whose Flemish author (1912-79) was an early metafictionist and a political maverick and chameleon frequently compared to Louis-Ferdinand CĂ©line and John Dos Passos. Chapel Road (1953) is an inordinately ambitious text whose central narrative focuses on its protagonist, ondine, a wily and amoral survivor who escapes her native slums to join the fledgling socialist movement in early-19th-century Flanders. Her (mostly political and amatory) experiences are counterpointed against a vivid retelling of the medieval Dutch legend of Reynard the Fox, and also theoretical and autobiographical commentary by (ondine's creator) the novelist within the novel, ebulliently loquacious johann jenssens (Boon has no more truck with capitalization than with capitalism). A rich, rowdy, unruly, and fascinating work (and a possible influence on Grass's The Tin Drum?). Boon is a forgotten writer very much deserving of a revival.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564782854
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2003
  • Series: Netherlandic Literature Series
  • Pages: 338
  • Sales rank: 995,412
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Lodewijk Paul Albrecht (Louis Paul) Boon was a Flemish writer, poet and painter.

Dalkey Archive Press

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