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Otto's oorlog by Koos van Zomeren
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Otto's oorlog (1983)

by Koos van Zomeren

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1980s (67)
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Otto's oorlog is a novel by the Dutch author Koos van Zomeren, which marked a turn in the author's style, moving away from writing detective and murder mysteries to embrace the genre of literary fiction. The novel seems to be the embodiment of a mental crossroads. Much of Dutch literary output is dominated by the Second World War. The psychological background of the main character in Otto's oorlog is formed by a speaking crow which his father possessed during the war, a crow which mocked the occupier by saying "Hitler is dead". Otto has a similar streak of rebellious nature, as he breaks with his former life and embarks of travels around the world while financially supporting an expedition to photograph birds in as various places as Turkey, Senegal and Mauritania.

Otto's choice can be seen as a tribute to the original bird in his life, his father's crow. During his travels, he is clearly seen as a confused, and weak character, easily dominated by Wessel and Simon, whose travels he sponsors. While the photographers try to capture birds with the lense of their cameras, Otto tries to capture memories and fragments of the memory of his father. ( )
  edwinbcn | Dec 1, 2013 |
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