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De apokatastasis, of Het apocriefe boek van…

De apokatastasis, of Het apocriefe boek van Galax Niksen

by Ward Ruyslinck

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Inleidend hoofdstuk van gelijknamige roman
  Marjoles | Feb 26, 2015 |
Ward Ruyslinck is a Flemish author His earliest novels are understood as a protest against World War II, the event which eventually destroyed his youth. In his later novels, Ruyslinck remained critical of repression and power systems in society, such as the (Catholic) Church, Capitalism and the Military-Industrial Complex. Many of his novels now seem very dated.

De apokatastasis, of Het apocriefe boek van Galax Niksen, published in 1970 is strongly influenced by the prevalent hippie culture at the time. It is a science-fiction story, involving (the possibility of) intergalactic travel, although the science-fiction elements are not foregrounded. The story is about Galax Niksen, a name which signifies as much as "galactic lethargy". Various encounters with seductive try to persuade him to have sex and copulate, but throughout the story Galax Niksen proves to be impotent. All are just waiting for a new era, in which a new man will stand up (or Galax Niksen can get ("it") up. An era of new-born man, immanent in the near future.

The novel seems to be written under the intoxication of marihuana, exemplified through the mood of lethargy, lechery and ambiguous hippie-style humour, such as symbolic names, including Galax Niksen, Rino Ceros and Maria Huana. The theme, the ideas and the hippie-style of writing make this novel seem very dated.

The title of the novel, De apokatastasis, of Het apocriefe boek van Galax Niksen, points directly to the theme and meaning of the novel. In bible exegesis and related criticism the term apokatastasis has a long history and various shades of meaning have been pointed out throughout the 2000 years of history. apokatastasis is usually taken to mean "a restitution of all things of which God spoke" which can be taken to signify the restoration of the Garden of Eden, to the situation before the Fall.

While the ideas in the novel are interesting, and the novel can still be read as exemplary for the hippie culture of the 1960s, the execution of the story seemed strained, and the novel is rather difficult to read.

Ward Ruyslinck is a writer known to have often changed his style of writing. De apokatastasis, of Het apocriefe boek van Galax Niksen is very different from work written in the 1950s and early 1960s, such as Wierook en tranen or De stille zomer. ( )
  edwinbcn | Sep 2, 2013 |
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