Tag Archives: Dutch

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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Ik ben er voor niemand – Ingmar Heytze

Let me start by saying this is one of my favorite books. To my knowledge it has not been translated into English, but I wanted to do it for I found a bookmark anyway, because I love it so.

Ik ben er voor niemand Ik ben er voor niemand (I’m here for nobody/I don’t exist for anybody) tells the story of a guy called Return to Sender. He talks about his life and the strange creatures who are a part of it, most notably a girl he names Egel (Hedgehog). Their relationship, though now over, informs a lot of his life. Other important characters are the unicorn, who sends him letters because they always seem to just miss meeting each other, the gnome who makes others feel little so that he can feel a bit taller himself and a fox who talks mostly about how to devour small animals like hedgehogs.

Ik ben er voor niemand has very loose story structure. Heytze is a poet (I also really love his poetry) who tells this story in little self contained snippets of text. All of which are easily quoted on their own as having something interesting or funny to say. Together they tell a larger story that reveals itself to the reader as you get further along in the book. It is not a large tome, but it feels good to let the individual pieces of prose linger in your mind a bit before going to the next one.

The bookmark I made refers to one of the little stories about the gnome, who I always find hilarious. In it the gnome gets stuck in the roots of a large oak tree. It is made entirely with water colour pencils, and I’m really happy about the colours.

Ik ben er voor niemand

If you can read Dutch I highly recommend reading Ik ben er voor niemand.

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Checking up on the bookmarks

So I’ve just been to the library again. (Finally, I can hear you think it. I know, it’s been way too long since I posted here.) My library has just been rearranging how the books are organized, and it’s confusing for people like me who are used to how it was.

It took me quite a while to check up on the books I’ve already done bookmarks for. And what I’ve found is that now two more bookmarks have gone missing from their book (Onmagiër and The Book Thief). I wonder where they are now. I asked one of the librarians what the policy was on stuff like bookmarks found in books, and they generally go into the lost and found. When I explained what I do (neither him nor I knew whether it’s allowed or not) and that I wondered about the missing bookmarks, he let me check if any of them ended up in the lost and found box, but none did. It was a relief to know that the library keeps the stuff they find in books. (If they go unclaimed for a long time they get moved to a depot in a different building.) And that they wouldn’t just throw them out.

I am assuming all three of the missing bookmarks are now living with readers, who for some reason or an other has decided to keep them. I realize that they may have ended up in the trash, which is something I’m just going to have to accept. I find it hard to let go of something I’ve made, this project is in part an exercise in letting go for me. I want to share the physical bookmark with other readers and not just here online. But I get worried about ‘my babies’. Having some of them disappear without knowing what happened is not an easy thing. It’s a part of what I’ve decided to do however, and I should stop worrying and just let the library readers interact with the bookmarks no matter what might end up happening and no matter that I might never know. Because as soon as I hand the book with a bookmark back in, it stops being my bookmark. It’s everyone’s.

The Shack still had it’s bookmark, and both Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are currently with readers.

I actually went to the library to get their copy of Ik ben er voor niemand so I could finish up my post about it (the bookmark art is done). But while the system said it should be available the book itself seems to have been misplaced. Lost between all the other books. So I have not been able to get the library copy and cannot yet finish my post about it. In the mean time, here’s a picture of when I was working on the bookmark:

Work in progress for the @Ifoundabookmark project.

I did get The Great Gatsby so I can start on reading that for the next one. I want to try and do more bookmarks and post more often, because the great gap in between this post and the last is much to large. If I want to keep this weblog interesting for you sweet readers, I’ll have to update it regularly.

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