Herman Koch: The Dinner – #EU27Project


Check out this review of the book, The Dinner, by Herman Koch, via the Finding Time to Write blog.

findingtimetowrite

Herman Koch: The Dinner (transl. Sam Garrett)

Why is Dutch literature comparatively unknown abroad? It’s a small country, certainly, but it has many cultural and even linguistic links with Germany and the United Kingdom. Why has Scandinavian noir taken off so dramatically, while authors like Gerard Reve, Harry Mulisch and Willem Hermans (collectively known as the ‘Three Giants of Dutch literature’) languish unread and untranslated? It’s not so much the problem of it being spread across two countries (Belgium and the Netherlands) – after all, German has that problem too, spread across three countries.

Foto: Joost van den Broek (c)'07 Herman Koch. Foto: Joost van den Broek (c)’07

One writer who seems to be bucking this trend is Herman Koch, yet he is seldom listed in the recommended readings of Dutch literature. Perhaps because he writes something which may be sailing a little too close to ‘genre’ literature to be considered literary? The Dinner was his…

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