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Author: Hugo Claus
ISBN13: 978-0140097153
Title: Sorrow Of The Belgium (Penguin International Writers)
Format: mbr azw lit lrf
ePUB size: 1442 kb
FB2 size: 1150 kb
DJVU size: 1619 kb
Language: English
Publisher: Penguin UK (April 4, 1989)
Pages: 624

Sorrow Of The Belgium (Penguin International Writers) by Hugo Claus

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Book description: Publisher: Penguin Classics. Date: September 1, 1994. Identifiers: ISBN 10: 0140188010 ISBN 13: 9780140188011. Number of pages: 624. More about the author(s): Hugo Claus was born in 04-05-1929. Download more by: Hugo Claus. Find and Load Ebook The Sorrow of Belgium (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics).

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The sorrow of Belgium, one of the better contemporary novels in Belgian (Dutch) literature, a telling story of every day life in WWII and the repression that followed it. A beautifull, not very flattering look at Flemish/Belgian Society. The translation doesn& offer the unique quality the novel has in its original version, but it& still more then worth a read.

The first part of The Sorrow of Belgium narrates Louis Steynaeve's time in a boarding school run by nuns, in the lead up to the Second World Wa. .T The Sorrow of Belgium %A Claus, Hugo %M Dutch %F Pomerans, Arnold J. %I Penguin %D 1991 %O paperback %G ISBN 0140188010 %P 608pp.

Claus, Hugo, 1929-2008. Publication, Distribution, et. London. Viking ; Markham, On.Penguin Books, (c)1990. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database. All rights are reserved by their owners. Download book The sorrow of Belgium, Hugo Claus ; translated from the Dutch by Arnold J. Pomerans.

I made the fatal error of reading the first line – Dondeyne had hidden one of the seven Forbidden Books under his tunic and then coaxed Louis into coming along – and from that moment I was hooked. The Sorrow of Belgium; Hugo Claus (original Flemish title Het verdriet van België), Tusk Ivories 2002 (first published 1983) 603 pp. ISBN 1-58567-238-6.

Hugo Claus: Het verdriet van België (The Sorrow of Belgium). This long novel is set in Belgium from shortly before the beginning of World War II to shortly after its end. Its aim is fairly clear – to show the hypocrisy and pettiness of the Flemish Belgians during this period, not in a satirical or bitter way (though both aspects have their role to play) but in a relatively straightforward, almost sympathetic manner. Of course, this book is set primarily during the war, when Belgium was occupied by the Germans. First published in 1983 by De Bezige Bij, Amsterdam First English translation 1990 by Viking Penguin.

Obituary: Belgium's foremost writer, he tackled controversial themes. Belgium's leading writer, Hugo Claus, who has died aged 78 in hospital after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was a major poet, novelist, dramatist, essayist and film-maker, who wrote hundreds of works and was best known for his l novel The Sorrow of Belgium. Born in Bruges, he dropped out of school at 15 and, unhappy at home, left soon after for the second world war, working in a sugar factory for a while

Hugo Claus is the author of The Sorrow of Belgium (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) and the recipient of numerous awards. He lives in Antwerp, Belgium.

Reviews: 6
Just before the Big War, Louis Seynaeve is still a boy of eleven years. He grows up in the nunnery in Haarbeke, also known as the Reformatory. Together with his friends Dondeyne, Byttebier and Vlieghe he forms the secret society The Four Apostles. Later their club is reinforced by the new guy Goosens. Their main vocation is to get a hold of 'forbidden books'. One day father and grandfather Seynaeve visit Louis to bring him bad news: Louis' mother fell from the stairs and is taken to the hospital. The truth is that she is pregnant and that any moment now she can give birth to a brother that will upset the easy life Louis was living.

Like so many authors who were adolescent during the Second World War, Hugo Claus is gifted with a relentless urge to get in touch with what happened during his youth. The Sorrow of Belgium is clearly the culmination point of war drama in the works of this Belgian author. Claus does not narrate the heroic deeds of the soldiers, but paints a colorful canvas of life under repression. Simple factory workers and storekeepers are trying to make the best out of things, but more often than not they fall into despair and misery. All this makes great prose as seen through the eyes of the child, Louis Seynaeve.

But then something strange happens. In the middle of the book Hugo Claus decides to changes style completely. Instead of the steady sequential narrative of the first part, the reader gets a mishmash of impressions. The few storylines that are developed die in a pool of chaos. Suddenly the story stops making sense and starts flirting with utter boredom. It is clear that the main theme is collaboration and the blindness of people under repression, but nowhere is this given any reason of existence between the fragmental, pointless descriptions of the adventures of mostly flat characters.

It is incomprehensible why such a potentially great novel was ruined by the desire of Clause to write a novel of more that 700 pages. It would have been great it he had skipped the last 400 pages. A pity.
I don't understand why all these Flemish Belgians review 'The Sorrow of Belgium' here at Amazon, just to say that it is a bad book. Probably they haven't read it. Or they had to read it or some other novel, play, piece of poetry by Claus at school, and disliked it at that time. One thing is for sure : they don't have the slightest insight in this book, or in any of Claus' work. Maybe they disagree with Claus' vision on Belgium, Catholicism, etc. To dislike Claus is only possible when you don't understand him. The Flemish reviewers just want to spit their frustration (call it : their ignorance) on the internet... It's silly.

The book isn't only the story of a childhood, a Bildungsroman, a war novel, a depiction of Belgian society during World War II, a postmodern novel with a procession of intertextual references to the Bible, Classical Mythology, Shakespeare, Jacob van Maerlant, Dante, Hölderlin, Gezelle, etc. It is a stilistic masterwork as well. Full of wit. Fabulous imaginery. Poetic. This is the work of a genuine writer, one out of many.

Too read Claus is to read a piece of art. He can only be compared to the greatest writers of all time : Joyce, Proust, Mann, Tolstoy, Borges, Ibsen, Pasolini... What can you say when you have finished 'The Sorrow of Belgium'? Maybe that you are stunned?
My rating of four stars reflects the fact that I give five stars to the first part and three to the last part. The first third of the book is a beautiful, heartbreaking story of one schoolboy's love for his male friend. However many schoolboy romances there are, we can always use more of them. On the other hand, the last two-thirds of the book gives us an overlong mishmash of interactions between largely uninteresting characters (with some notable exceptions, such as the boy who earns a little money by sharing his body with a man in the neighborhood). I do recommend the book overall, but understand that you may find it a real slog getting to the end.
I never understood why 'The Sorrow of Belgium/Het verdriet van België' created such a fuzz in the Dutch language community (Flanders + The Netherlands). Possibly, the fact that it was a 'must reed' in school, makes that I'm not that overwhelmed by it.
Mind you, it certainly isn't a bad novel, but (from my point of view) it isn't the highlight of twentieth-century Dutch literature that some people say it is. It does help to understand the Flemish feelings towards 'higher authorities' (like Belgium, like the (catholic) church), and maybe (given the correct interpretation of the whole background regarding the German occupation of Belgium during WWII) it can give this novell an universal angle.
I would like to point out that Hugo Claus is a much better poet than he is a novellist. If he'll ever get the Nobel Prize (for the last ten years his name is mentionned), it should be for his poetry, which is (without any exeption) extraordinary and amazing. Obvious problem: it's easier to translate a novell than a poem...
Hugo Claus, most famous writer in the Low Countries, wrote this "piece de resistance". For his oeuvre he should be awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature.
The work, although looking quite bulky, fascinates from the first till the last page. It decribes in a painfull manner the hypocritical way well-to-do families live in pre-war Belgium, how religious superficiality leads to short-sighted nationalism, conservatism and collaboration with members of the occupating "Herrenvolk".
Reading it, it helps to understand the ambiguous nature of the kingdom of Belgium (language, politics, economy and culture).
How can someone who has ever learned to write, produce such a stupid paperfilling. If you enyoy reading, pass this bunch of nonsense, else you maybe never touch one book again. How can a sensible person ever think about a Nobel nomination for this cheese advertising fool.