Pretty much nothing happened in each episode, yet, it was entertaining. Not going big and dramatic ensured that every incident in their lives were magnified and amplified to be visible and important. No learning. Learn somewhere else. How arrogant to presume that you could teach in addition to entertaining.

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Preview — De avonden by Gerard Reve. De avonden by Gerard Reve. De Avonden vertelt het verhaal van Frits van Egters, die in de donkere decemberdagen van vlak na de Tweede Wereldoorlog zich een houding probeert te geven tegenover zijn ouders en vrienden. Over alles ligt een grijze waas van melancholie, en met zijn eigenzinnige gevoel voor humor probeert hij door het pantser van de verveling te breken. In het ontroerende slothoofdstuk ko De Avonden vertelt het verhaal van Frits van Egters, die in de donkere decemberdagen van vlak na de Tweede Wereldoorlog zich een houding probeert te geven tegenover zijn ouders en vrienden.

In het ontroerende slothoofdstuk komt hij tot het louterende inzicht dat hij door te kijken en te observeren de zinloosheid heeft bezworen: 'Het is gezien, het is niet onopgemerkt gebleven. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published by De Bezige Bij first published More Details Original Title. Frits van Egters. Netherlands Amsterdam , Netherlands.

Reina Prinsen Geerligsprijs Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about De avonden , please sign up.

This an ancient book, mandatory at Dutch High-schools. I've read it about 50 years ago and as it is situated in the Netherlands at the end of world war II it can hardly be interesting to modern times people. You should stop reading it. It's not worth it and I wonder why it has been translated. Is there anybody who enjoyed it? I didn't. Kirsten lol "ancient" …more lol "ancient" less. See 2 questions about De avonden…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3.

Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of De avonden. I looked down at my plate. The potatoes were fine, but very good seemed like an exaggeration.

This thought lay wriggling on my tongue, but I managed to swallow it and instead make an unconvincing noise of agreement. Her mother pursed her lips. Should I have said that the temperature was just right? Once the last mouthful had disappeared down my throat I placed my knife and fork on my plate to indicate that I had finished.

My girlfriend, whose family this was, tapped my knee affectionately. What a question! How does one answer it correctly? My mother threatened to have me put in hospital. The novel follows Frits van Egters, a twenty-three year old Amsterdammer, through the last days of , days that are, in large part, spent in dismal interaction with his parents and various acquaintances. Indeed, there is no other novel that I know of that features such relentlessly uncomfortable, strained and tedious conversations.

There are any number of passages that one could pick out from the text as illustration, but one that has stuck in my mind is the discussion about the pickled herring, the stale pickled herring, that Frits' mother is intent on serving to her family, but which they are none too keen on. The relationship between Frits and his parents is, at least for him, one of irritation, at best, and, at worst, outright loathing.

Throughout The Evenings one has not only access to the young man's words but his thoughts also, with the two often running concurrently. So while he may engage in polite[ish] small talk, we know that what he is thinking is invariably something negative. He fixates upon his father's warts, for example, and wonders why he doesn't get them removed. When he does give voice to his displeasure he does so in a jocular, passive-aggressive fashion, such that it is not clear whether he is being serious or not.

He comments upon their weak hearts; their baldness, or inevitable baldness; their heavy drinking; their unappealing children, whom, he points out, probably won't live very long.

Most mercilessly, he ridicules Maurits for his missing eye, which, he tells him, makes him unattractive to women. In this instance, more than any of the others, it appears as though it is Frits' intention to provoke his friend into doing something drastic, into perhaps harming himself or someone else; and I think this gives an indication as to what is underlying his cruel behaviour.

If one lives a humdrum existence, one that promises no excitement or stimulation, if your conversations are banal, and your environment is drab and wearisome, then it makes sense that one would look to enliven it all somehow, to create for yourself some of the excitement that is lacking.

While it may not be a healthy way of dealing with his dissatisfaction, or boredom, one gets the impression that Frits' provoking of Maurits is a little like poking a big, powerful dog or bungee jumping; which is to say that it is thrill seeking by virtue of dicing with danger.

Likewise, when he declares that the death of a child makes him happy, he is of course trying to shock, to create a stir, to cause an outrage, because this too would be exciting, would be something different from what he experiences day-to-day, or would at least put an end to the unbearable chatter he was listening to previously.

Moreover, it is clear that Frits has mortality on his mind. The novel begins, for instance, with him dreaming about a funeral and the decomposition, the 'thin, yellow mush', that is the fate of us all. Indeed, this partly explains his obsession with baldness, which is most often a sign of ageing, is, you might say, a kind of decomposition or certainly malfunction of the body.

The young man also frequently examines himself, at one stage checking his genitals with a shaving mirror and finding it all 'very distasteful. In this way, it isn't only his parents, his circumstances, etc, that are oppressing him, but time also. Much of what I have written so far will, I imagine, give the impression that The Evenings is a dour reading experience.

Certainly it is slow-paced and bleak; and it is repetitious too, with almost all of Frits' conversations and activities being essentially the same. What is remarkable about it, however, is that it is also very funny. In fact, the comedy is a consequence of the repetition and the bleakness. For example, the second or third time Frits highlights the impending baldness of one of his friends one might legitimately furrow one's brow, yet you come to look forward to it, to gleefully anticipate it, the next time he runs into one of them.

Likewise, when he meets someone new and one knows that he will find something, some ailment or flaw or deformity, to comment upon. Frits is a cunt, yes, but he is an amusing one, a sympathetic one even, or at least the kind of cunt that I can identify with myself. View 2 comments. None of those other blurbs and reviews about boredom and comedy prepared me for the horrible creeping dread that underlies all of this. This moves and fails to move in all kinds of amusing rhythms and digressions, but the humor is, at heart, very dark.

And there's a weight to the malaise that more recent literatures of ennui are less able to invoke. It's , Europe is restored to reason. It's , and no one will ever really recover. Brilliant and imperceptibly devastating. Nearly 3. Twenty-three-year-old Frits van Egters lives with his parents, works at an office job, and spends his evenings wandering the streets of Amsterdam and visiting friends and relatives. His ennui comes through clearly in these 10 chapters set at the end of December I parti Nearly 3.

See my full review at The Bookbag. Frits looked at the clock. It's ten minutes past three. But the evening can still make up for a great deal. Gerard Reve's debut novel "De Avonden" is a classic of Dutch, indeed European, literature, for example ranked as the best Dutch novel since by the Society of Dutch literature. See this LA Review of Books interview for his general approach to translation.

Apparently De Avonden was regarded for many years as untranslatable, and perhaps still is.


A masterful depiction of boredom – The Evenings by Gerard Reve

In a a poll of theTop works of Dutch literature of the 20th century , this book came top. However, their other choices seem very worthy. The site does not seem to have been updated since Part of the appeal of the book may stem from its origins. Reve came from an aristocratic Dutch family and it was expected that he would follow a military career. He hated war but still managed to obtain two citations for bravery under fire. However, he helped a prisoner escape and was arrested.


The Evenings

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The Modern Novel

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