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Sluitertijd by Erwin Mortier
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Sluitertijd (2002)

by Erwin Mortier

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A great book, that without doubt deserves all the good critics it gets. It is just not a good book for me.
I've started many times, and as many times I put away the book. I just can't get through.
Beautiful depicted landscape, thoughts, feelings, all is well. It just really annoys me.

Sorry for those of you who love it, but it is not my cup of tea.

http://www.bookcrossing.com/journal/8146859 ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Shutterspeed is Erwin Mortier’s third novel translated from the Flemish. It is based on the narrator’s formative years - a Bildungsroman - taking the reader from early consciousness to the edge of adolescence.

Having just read Andrew Motion’s memoir, 'In the Blood – a memoir of my childhood' it is striking how similar both pieces of prose illustrate the vivid and imaginative interior world of the narrator, using simple yet beautiful narrative. Both books echo the inexperienced intensity of the child, the longing for connection and love, the wide naive imagination, and the fragmentation of memory. Also, they both reveal the development and acute observational powers of a writer’s mind, the ability to interpret and observe their immediate environment and record everyday interactions with great intensity.

Mortier uses photography as a device - producing an image of the narrator’s family, notably his dead father. His mother is absent in Spain and the narrator is left to live with his uncle and aunt in the countryside. Jonis lives an interior life, piecing together memories and intensely observing the characters in his young life. He interprets and hangs his memories on the two dimensional photographs of his parents, giving them life with the additional dimension of his memory. He eventually comes to better understand his father.

Without realizing, the reader is moved effortlessly back and forth from present to past and then onwards to near adolescence with his first unwilling experience with a girl.

The question I would like to have answered is how much of the content is autobiographical. It is elegant, quiet and yet vivid. I enjoyed it and would recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys a poetic display of elegant and subtle prose. ( )
2 vote kiwidoc | Mar 22, 2008 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erwin Mortierprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baar, Marry vanDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blancquaert, LievePhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rilke, InaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Es gibt noch Fotos von damals, auf denen bin ich blond und trage Sandalen.
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Fiction. Translation from Flemish.
Memory. Childhood.
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Since his father died young and his mother moved to Spain, Joris has lived with his aunt and uncle in a village. He is quiet and introverted, and his relatives fear that he harbours resentment for the loss of his parents. But when the gentle rhythm of village life is disturbed, it reawakens memories in Joris of his dead father.… (more)

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