The Knight Has Died

Cees Nooteboom, Author, Adrienne Dixon, Translator Louisiana State University Press $14.95 (102p) ISBN 978-0-8071-1544-2
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
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