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Een zakenlunch in Sintra en andere Portugese…

Een zakenlunch in Sintra en andere Portugese verhalen (original 1996; edition 1996)

by Gerrit Komrij

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Title:Een zakenlunch in Sintra en andere Portugese verhalen
Authors:Gerrit Komrij
Info:Amsterdam De Arbeiderspers cop. 1996
Collections:Your library

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Een zakenlunch in Sintra en andere Portugese verhalen by Gerrit Komrij (1996)


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Gerrit Komrij is another Dutch writer who has made a foreign country, viz. Portugal, his new home. Komrij is mostly known as a compiler of Dutch poetry anthologies and criticism. Much of his work consists of columns or collections of aphorisms. Komrij, who often strikes people as a grumbling old man, has noted that Portugal allows him to live away from the Netherlands, but be near enough to get there regularly for work.

Besides compilations and criticism, Komrij has published a small body of fiction, three or four novels, some short stories, and one piece of autobiographical fiction, named Vila Pouca. Kroniek van een dorp. The sub title of this book is "chronicle of a village", and it is more about the place than about the man. In fact, the other man in his life does not even make an appearance.

Most of Komrij's fiction, however, seems to be autobiographical, or bearing strong resemblance to the life and experiences of a Dutch author in a tiny Portuguese village. Een zakenlunch in Sintra, en andere Portugese verhalen is such a collection of stories, which each show an aspect of living in Portugal. To Dutch people, and possibly others, life in a Portuguese village, as life in the countryside of Spain might also, conjures up the image of rural simplicity, and backwardness with a rich sprinkling of corruption. Incredible corruption and bureaucracy is what the title story is about. While corruption is found among civil servants and city dwellers, Komrij pictures life in the village as pastoral and uncorrupted, age-old men and women, who seem to be living in another age, and a handsome youth, oblivious to the effect on the writer of flaunting his tanned body. Shame, lust and shyness are a triplet found in several of his works. ( )
  edwinbcn | Oct 3, 2011 |
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