June 14th, 2020


My tweets


Laatste Schooldag, by Jan Siebelink

Another lovely sunny weekend day of reading in the garden, another book that I've given up on. I did get as far as the third in this collection of short stories, but none of the first three really engaged me so I'm leaving the rest. The second paragraph of the third story, "Een evenwichtig bestaan" ("A balanced existence"), is:
Een jaar geleden solliciteerde Ernst Greve, net afgestudeerd aan de universiteit van Leiden, naar de betrekking van docent Nederlands aan het Willem de Zwijger College te E. A year ago, Ernst Greve, just graduated from the University of Leiden, applied for the position of Dutch teacher at William the Silent College in E.
The stories are all set among the staff of William the Silent College in a medium-size Dutch town identified only as E. I think they may have been meant to be comedies of manners, but I did not get the humour, and I expected more recurring characters in a series of stories set in what isn't such a big school. You can get it here. Siebelink is quite a well-known Dutch writer - his best known book, Knielen op een bed violen (Kneeling on a Bed of Violets) has been translated into English - but I think I'll give it a miss.

This was top of my unread books acquired in 2013, and the non-genre fiction book that had lingered longest on my unread shelves. Next on the first of those piles is Tim Dolin's biography of George Eliot, next on the second is The Inside of the Cup by the other Winston Churchill - but the latter will have to wait until I have finished all the books I acquired in 2013. (Which I'm getting through pretty briskly.)