On 1 November , Gerard Reve published what was to become one of the classics of Dutch literature. Set during the last ten dark days of , the story. Buy De Avonden by Gerard Reve (ISBN: ) from Amazon’s Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. The Evenings, by Gerard Reve, translated from the Dutch, De Avonden, by Sam Garrett, published by Pushkin Press, London, Jan. 31

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De Avonden Review: A Dutch Literary Classic by Gerard Reve – DutchReview

Definitely the funniest comic in the Netherlands. His gratification for relief from an activity as small as brushing teeth is a form of thankfulness. Throughout The Evenings agonden has not only access to the young man’s words but his thoughts also, with the two often running concurrently.

We learn absolutely nothing of Frits’s office job, other than the cynical line above, and instead we see his evenings after work.

We meet his brother and a horde of friends to whose houses he makes unexpected visits, usually on whim. Or set the house on fire. Review copy courtesy of Pushkin Press and NetGalley, many thanks. This would have been one of the difficulties of translating the book, since English simply does not have this. 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 revw te geven tegenover zijn ouders en vrienden.

Zijn in bij uitgeverij De Bezige Bij verschenen romandebuut De avonden — het enige werk ooit, waarvoor hij de exploitatierechten voor de duur van het auteursrecht zou afstaan — riep sterk uiteenlopende reacties op. The relationship between Frits and his parents is, at least for him, one of irritation, at best, and, at worst, outright loathing.

A novel as funny as it is painful. Er zat een blauw geraard op met een gele rand. Opvallend is verder nog dat gersrd een boek geschreven in de oorlog amper aan bod komt, behalve dan dat Frits daardoor ooit een herexamen niet hoefde af te leggen.

De avonden. Een winterverhaal

Through Fritz we meet his indifferent, half-deaf father and overtly considerate mother, whose lives and daily activities lay before him predictably enough that he takes pleasure in their blunderings and gross habits, often amusing himself at their cost.

In het ontroerende slothoofdstuk komt hij tot het louterende inzicht dat hij door te kijken en te observeren de zinloosheid heeft bezworen: Hooftprijs, Nederlands belangrijkste literaire toen nog staats- prijs voor letterkunde. Much of what I have written so far will, I imagine, give the impression that The Evenings is a dour reading experience. Uit de kast geplukt toen ik zag dat enkele Nederlandse diehards de laatste 10 dagen van het jaar elke avond consequent een hoofdstukje lazen en het NRC er zelfs een luisterversie aan koppelde.


Frits lives at home with his parents, who irritate him immeasurably, and obsseses about baldness, between fiddling with the radio, leafing idly through books and visiting his friends, which then causes him anxiety about maintaining conversations.

We don’t have any information about how he spent the war years but we do know that, instead of picking up his studies where he’d been forced to suspend them and looking for d new way of life, he is living with his parents and has an undemanding and avojden office job. Reve was inclined to contentious points of view, and understandably, due to his personal circumstances, he hated the Dutch government. The novel eeve written very shortly after World War II.

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. 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.

Godzijdank hebben wij nu de mogenlijkheid om de hele dag nutteloze updates en berichten avondej onze vrienden, familieleden, kennissen en mensen wie we eenmaal gesproken hebben of op school ooit in de gang hebben zien lopen ratio: Voor fans die de avonden uit hun hoofd kennen, is dit een bijzondere ervaring.

He often passes wiry comments on their physical state, conjures wild assessments out of thin air on what ails them, and presents baseless solutions to their problems. He is obsessed with death and infirmity. Publicaties 10 Books avondem Holland Voorjaar Only suitable for sleeping aid.

This continued for decades, with all its implications, until the NGK Synod ofafter which church members, and later the Synod itself, indeclared Apartheid to be a sin rather than the will of God.

When the voices grew louder, he chanted avknden himself. Twenty-three-year-old Frits van Rreve lives with his parents, works at an office job, and spends his evenings wandering the streets of Amsterdam and visiting friends and relatives.

He and his friends philosophize, they go to movies, they walk around. Zijn verveling komt tot uiting in kleine dingen: Maar ik vond het boek toch vooral saai, langdradig en gewoonweg niet boeiend, met onbeduidende personages en dialogen waar ik me dood aan ergerde.


Reve himself declared that the primary message in all of his work was salvation from the material world we live in. Perhaps, like the guards who destroyed the original manuscript, US and UK publishers found the book nihilist and immoral. Yet as a portrait of the monotony of suburban life in post-war Amsterdam, The Evenings succeeds in entertaining. Retrieved 1 May Moreover, it is clear that Frits has mortality on his mind.

De avonden

Peace has broken out in Europe and when you’d expect a young man to feel elated, Frits is underwhelmed. He has terrible, disturbing dreams of death and destruction. He avoids them by visiting friends, whom he provokes and challenges, and by withdrawing into his bedroom, where he finds comfort with his favourite cuddly toy, a rabbit to which he devotes near-erotic attention.

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, refe create for yourself some of the excitement that is lacking.

He dishes up sugar with his dessert spoon. Gersrd Mulisch moet grijpen naar intellectualistische foefjes en een eindeloze stoet van feitjes, en waar Hermans qvonden vervreemdende setting ‘nooit meer slapen’ nodig heeft, bereikt Reve genialiteit zonder de huiskamer te hoeven verlaten.

Gerard Reve era un gran figo Another pre-occupation is other’s education and professions, which he typically ridicules, gerwrd this hints at one of his own deep-set insecurities. It isn’t possible for me, as a non Dutch native speaker, to comment on what may have been lost in translation. Avnden kreeg de ziekte van Alzheimer, waarvan de eerste tekenen zich kort tevoren bij hem hadden geopenbaard, hem steeds vaster in haar greep.

But the novel became a classic and has continued to appeal to new generations, retaining its eloquent impact to this day. Over De Avonden kan je vanalles zeggen maar niet dat het onopgemerkt is avknden. This is really not a me book. When it was over,” Frits went on, “we still had dozens of pounds of wheat, kilos of beans and peas.