Tag Archives: classic

De Kleine Eva uit de Kromme Bijlstraat – Louis Paul Boon

Kleine Eva

De Kleine Eva uit de Kromme Bijlstraat is long poem about a young girl that’s found murdered. Louis Paul Boon based it on a real murder and even used pieces of real newspaper articles in the poem, interjected with his own sentences. The entire poem gives a sense of cynicism in regard to how the police and press deal with the murder, how a narrative is is discovered which leaves no room for the actual little girl as a person.

What I thought the poem did well was create a sense of disconnect with the story, this girl was murdered and people are going through the motions, but nobody seems to really care about Eva herself. She just has to play the role of murdered little girl, she’s always described as ‘little Eva’. She fits a certain slot in peoples minds and it’s easy for them to keep her there.

Boon describes the different accounts of people who live in the same area as Eva, of which some lead to suspects. He plays around with spelling, like the suspect who’s literally called Vogel (bird, in Dutch you can call a person a weird bird), a last name usually spelled Vooghel which differentiates it from the word vogel.

De Kleine Eva uit de Kromme Bijlstraat has words and a way of building sentences which were difficult for me, some of that will be that it is an older kind of Dutch than what I’m used to, some of it will be that Louis Paul Boon was Flemish (some words differ), and some of it will be Boon experimenting with language.

The eventual suspect turns out to be a slow witted neighbour who can’t actually be convicted of the murder because there is no evidence, but gets put away on a different charge. Boon shows how uncaring people actually are when that is the end of it. The guy they think did it (because it’s easier to think that than to accept they don’t know who did) gets put away for something and people fine with that. Nobody is ever convicted of the murder.

For the bookmark it took me a while to decide what I wanted to depict. there is so much imagery in the poem that it was a little difficult for me to choose one thing to focus on. In the end I incorporated a few things into the drawing to refer to different things in the poem.

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The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

gatsby

I really enjoyed reading The Great Gatsby, something I was worried wouldn’t happen when I started. I know it’s a famous classic, but that does not mean it is an accessible read, especially to a non-native speaker like me. But I got used to the style quite quickly! The most surprising thing to me was how much I related to the narrator, I really liked him and trusted his point of view.

When it comes to The Great Gatsby a lot has already been written and symbols have been dissected. The library copy I read included a very long introduction which analyses the book. I had started reading it, but decided to stop because I want to read a book and not be stuck in pre-conceived notions about what is important, but rather let things jump out at me and afterwards see if they were the same things.

I had expected there to be a lot more references to the green dock light, because I had seen a vlogbrothers video in which John Green talks about the Great Gatsby and mentions it a lot. But when I was actually reading the book, I got much more attached to Gatsbys car. That is why I drew it on the bookmark, and made it be the only thing that has colour to contrast it with Gatsbys house, which does not actually feel like a house but is just a backdrop.

Gatsby

I had a lot of trouble with this bookmark, I’m not a car-person, so drawing one was not easy for me. I had come up with several sketches that I didn’t like, car- or house-wise. But in the end I found a couple of reference photos of 20’s cars online that gave me an idea of what should go where as far as the car was concerned. I hope you like the result.

The scan of the bookmark looks different than the other bookmarks, because I can’t get my scanner to work on my new computer, so I scanned it at work. The bookmark is winsor & newton ink with a bit of watercolour.

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Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

I’m having some trouble articulating my feelings about Jane Eyre. I started out really loving the book, it really challenged my English reading comprehension and had some very lovely observations in it. I loved Jane’s character and how it developed and became quite fascinated by the goings on at Thornfield. I sometimes wished Jane would be a little more inquisitive about the strange things that were happening, but I understood her to be very trusting of Mr. Rochester due to her love for him.
Jane’s acceptance of Rochesters forceful ways are sometimes a little much for my tastes, I would have liked her to challenge him a bit more to even the score. But I quite enjoyed the resolution of the mystery of Thornfield. I was surprised by all the stuff that happens after that. I could see how much book I still had left to read, but I could not have predicted the curve the story took. At first I was quite fascinated by this whole new part of the story, and I felt that Jane finding a place at the village school would have been a good ending to the book. It would subvert the expectation that at some point the obstacle keeping her and Rochester apart would be solved and they could finally be together. (I am quite amused that the problem would never have been a problem in today’s society, it shows how different the world is now.)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë I was a little disappointed with where the story went next. Not that Jane didn’t deserve to be happy, but that she just happens upon long lost relations didn’t feel realistic to me. And the religious context of the discussions Jane and St. John have about becoming a missionary did not give me a good feeling. I had a little trouble divorcing from my regular attitude about such things and to put it in the context of the times the book was written. The long speeches were also a little difficult for me. Maybe I’ll understand it better on a re-read.
When Jane finally returns to Thornfield Hall to see how it’s fared, I got excited again. But all that has happened really is that the story wraps itself in a nice little bow to give our heroine her happy ever after.

While I was very proud of Jane for sticking to her principles and leaving Thornfield in the first place, at that time I was so very curious to stay with the people staying behind and learn how they’re impacted by the leaving of Jane and the happenings that led to her doing so. As a reader I felt constricted by the first-person narrative right then. That’s the first time that has ever happened to me. Usually I really love the first-person view.

I think the secret of Thornfield Hall and what it ended up being was my favourite part of the book.

The bookmark is mostly Acrylic (I sketched with a pencil, then put a layer of colour pencil on it, then painted over that with acrilyc paint and finally put some acrylic varnish on it.) Those who’ve read the book will (hopefully) recognize the portrait. :)

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë

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