Nooteboom ( In the Dutch Mountains ) is a Dutch writer who has been compared to Nabokov and Borges. This novel, originally published in the Netherlands in 1982, is a daunting work, a melange of moods, fragments and multiple viewpoints. Blocked novelist Andre Steenkamp seeks release on a Mediterranean island, where, amidst a group of eccentric, artistic expatriates, he falls in love with the mysterious Clara. We already know that Steenkamp dies; the narrator is a friend attempting to complete the novelist's work from chaotic notes and from his own impressions of Steenkamp's life. A fugue-like exploration of death and primal emotions overlaps with suppositions about Steenkamp's angst as man and artist. At the completion of his friend's story, the narrator says, ``What a tangle of lies and deceits I have created . . . and how strong does he emerge from it!'' The reader will likely concur with the first part of this assessment without endorsing the last. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990 Release date: 06/01/1990 Genre: Fiction
During the Covid-19 crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website. To receive the access to the latest issue delivered to your inbox free each week, enter your email below.