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Zomer te Ter-Muren by Louis Paul Boon
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Zomer te Ter-Muren (1956)

by Louis Paul Boon

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Read this one half (in dutch of course). It is the obese sequal to 'De Kapellekesbaan' and written on the momentum of that magistral oeuvre, which is one of the greatest books I know of in dutch. ( )
  ToonC | Aug 19, 2014 |
The sequel to Boon's 'Chapel Road' this much longer novel continues the story of Ondine and her husband Oscarke, Ondine's father Vapeur and brother Valeer living in the microscosm world of Termuren or Chapel Road--continuing to explore the impact of socialism after its birth in the previous book and to explore the exploitation by the rich of the poor. That is one level--at the other end of the spectrum the book moves along in a present staggering chapters from the past fictional life of the aforementioned with chapters from the present day life of Boon and the people he associates with--mostly intellectuals or would be ones who have (some of them anyway) found themselves on the margins of society. These friends of Boon's spend much time commenting on Boon's novel as he's writing it--offering criticism and advice often wondering why he is so negative. Implicit in the novel is a critique of an established social and Catholic order akin to a fascist and hypocritical mindset set on explointing everyone and everything for its own enrichment--and best represented by Ondine. Also implicit is a critique of the failure of socialism to change society for the better--particulary in its own advocates who for the most part are all too often more than willing to sell out their ideals for their own personal ambitions and power. As Ondine grows into middle age she continues in her manipulative ways. Oscarke for his part is growing away from her and towards socialism--this timid unhappy man desperate for love letting his eyes and mind stray to much younger women and girls. The family continues to grow with Ondine giving birth to several children including Mariette an almost carbon copy of herself who she has no control over. World War I comes and its German occupation. The rich collaborate and paint themsevles as resisters afterwards--they can afford to put up statues of themselves chronicling their great deeds against the occupier. Life resumes and a newer age of automobiles and radios. The things to have--to have status or the things you can not do without to put it another way. Ondine is the one that feels this not having of things most keenly. Her husband finds solace wherever else he can--mostly with other women.

Like 'Chapel Road' this book is not all that easy to describe. There are not fine plot lines here. Life is chaotic and this although fiction is more an example of what life is than your more generic work of carefully constructed fiction. Having said all that though Boon is a wonderful writer but very much of a curmudgeon though the sarcasm and satire that flows through this makes it also at times a laugh out loud funny book. These people are all bent on their own ambitions and are dangerous to each others. They continually (almost unconsciously) wreck each others chances at happiness--should mention that what strikes each and every one of them as happiness is often something truly grotesque. Anyway for those interested read 'Chapel Road' first as it's the first part--about half as long and IMO a little bit better but this is also very much worth reading too. ( )
2 vote lriley | Oct 18, 2006 |
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Between the electrodes of humor and doubt flows the current of satire. One of literature’s more perishable devices, this setup usually fizzles when the object of mockery sheds its markings or seeps into banality. But what if the satirist directed his energies inward as well as outward? What if, as befits one schooled in the tenets of modernism, one placed the accent on the delivery rather than the punch line?
 
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Dit is dan het tweede boek over de kapellekensbaan - het 2de boek over ondine en oscarke, over haar broer valeer en al de andere helden die ge in het 1ste boek over de kapellekensbaan reeds hebt ontmoet... maar met nog een heleboel anderen erbij, als daar zijn de dochters van ondine, judith en mariette met haar grote mond, en hun broers maurice en leopold die mij de vagebonden worden!
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