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Louis Paul Boon

Related: Belgium - Mieke Maaike's Obscene Jeugd (1972) - Nederlands - literature

Mieke Maaike’s Obscene Jeugd (1972) - Louis-Paul Boon

Louis Paul Boon

Louis Paul Boon (15 March 1912 - 10 May 1979) was a Flemish journalist and novelist who is considered one of the major 20th century writers in the Dutch language. He forsook the literary Dutch of the Netherlands for regional Flemish words and expressions with which he colored his writing.

Born Lodewijk Paul Aalbrecht Boon in Aalst, Belgium to a working-class family, Boon left school at age 16 to work for his father as a carriage painter. During evenings and weekends he studied art at the Aalsterse Academie voor Schone Kunsten but soon had to abandon this because of lack of funds.

Boon discovered he had a talent for writing and found work as a journalist, first for De Rode Vaan (1945-1946), Front (1946-1947) and De Vlaamse Gids (1948). Later he contributed to the newspaper Vooruit after which he established himself as a freelancer. In subsequent years, Boon divided his energies between a constant stream of novels and journalistic pieces for Het Parool, De Zweep, Zondagspost. and other newspapers and magazines.

In 1969, he stopped with writing -- except for his "Boontjes" columns -- and devoted himself to painting in his home in Erembodegem, where he died in 1979 at age 67.

Boon's literary legacy is a varied one, ranging from journalistic pieces on Belgian politics and society to erotic novelas. In historical novels such as De Bende van Jan de Lichte, De zoon van Jan de Lichte, De Zwarte Hand, and Daens, he depicted the oppression of the working class in 19th century Flanders; in his controversial Geuzenboek, he wrote of the Spanish domination of the Low Countries in the 16th century. Nearly all of Boon's work was infused by his profound commitment to socialism; in experimental, modernistic works such as Vergeten straat, Boon projected an ideal society but at the same time shared his doubts as to whether human nature could achieve utopia.

Boon was thought to have been shortlisted for a Nobel Prize in Literature in the late 1970s. Very little of his writing has been translated into English. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Paul_Boon [Oct 2005]


Het gebeurde om vier uur in een prille ochtend der maand februari van het jaar 1500 toen de stad Gent nog sliep. Johanna van Castilië, de Spaanse, die men weldra om verholen staatsbelangen de ‘Waanzinnige' zou noemen, was in de laatste ogenblikken harer zwangerschap (...) Met de hooggezwollen buik liet ze zich nog even op de nachtpot brengen, en daar neerzittend bracht zij haar tweede kind ter wereld, haar zoon die men Karel zou noemen. Het was belachelijk, grotesk en afschuwelijk: uit de vuilnis van een nachtpot moest men deze oprapen die de grote Keizer Karel zou worden, de laatste vorst van het grote Bourgondische Rijk, de heerser die met aan niets te vergelijken hoogmoed zou zeggen: ‘In mijn land gaat de zon nooit onder.' --Louis Paul Boon , Geuzenboek, p.19

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juana_of_Castile, Juana of Castile, also known as Juana the Mad, mother of Charles V

September of 1505, at the age of 28. Juana's mind completely snapped under the strain of Philip the Handsome's death. She would not be parted from the coffin and, in February 1509, retreated to the isolated fortress of Tordesillas, where she was to remain for 46 years until her death, bearing the title Queen of Castile until the end. Juana had borne six children in her marriage: Charles, Eleanor, Isabel, Mary, Ferdinand and Catherine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_V%2C_Holy_Roman_Emperor, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

httphttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julius_II, Pope Julius II

Chapel Road (Kapellekensbaan) () - Louis Paul Boon

  • Chapel Road (Kapellekensbaan) () - Louis Paul Boon [Amazon.com]
    A complex but very rewarding book. There are 3 story lines, all at different times in history, but all set in the same part of Flanders, in Belgium, and all portraying a similar image of injustice and despair. Although they may seem unrelated, the attentive reader will soon discover the links. It is one of the most important books of contemporary Belgian Flemish literature. However, readers who dislike modernist may want to stay clear of this one. Personally, I do not care much for modernist fiction, but for Louis Paul Boon I am willing to make a big exception, as this is an exceptionally warm and at times humerous book --This text refers to the Paperback edition. --A reader from Cairo, Egypt for amazon.com [...]

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