Monday, November 12, 2007

I'm reading...

Just finished Karakter (F. Bordewijk) and half-way through the Scarlet City. I must admit, I've found Bordewijk too sober, and too much of a realist (bordering fantasy). His depiction of a Dutch psyche was illuminating nonetheless.
It was a little scary as well:
"If that is what is expected of me, I thought, "I will have to frustrate quite a number of people... Who wants to be like that?!"
then I noted that actually most of my Dutch friends (friends though... not everyone I see on the street) ARE like that:
- self-disiplined (bordering obsession),
- self-motivated (ending up in frustrations that cannot be overcome),
- proud and sober (which looks inhumane in the first instance),
- sarcastic towards others because also towards oneself (which makes me feel terribly insecure)
- crossing the borders of idealism and realism constantly (which I often appreciate and yet, sometimes find frustrating because whatever I suggest gets lightly criticised from one angle or the other)...
Anyway, it was a good book and I will still have to see the movie.

The Scarlet City, is so far exciting, as some historical books are for politicologists. This makes it difficult for me to notice how good literature it is... Her narration is diverse and the plot is certainly deeper, more interesting and exciting than a Dan Brown book (which was the previous book I read on Rome, unfortunately). It makes the reader wonder how the characters will change in time or IF they will change in time, which seems to be gift Hella Haasse shares with Bourdewijk.

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