Stijn Streuvels, Author, Andre Lefevere, Translator, Peter Glassgold, Translator Sun and Moon Press $11.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-55713-050-1
First published in 1907, this Flemish classic of farm life only now makes its debut in English. In a fine translation, it follows Vermeulen, a prosperous farmer, and his 20-year-old son Louis through one cycle of planting and harvesting the family's flax fields. The elder Vermeulen conceives a rancorous anger for his son's healthy, happy interest in the farm, seeing the young man as his nemesis, the symbol that his life is ending. This leads to tragedy, classic in its inexorable finality. The narrative is compelling in the beauty of its serene prose and the authenticity of the characters and their lives. Not only the Vermeulen family but also the farming community that surrounds them are precisely described. Streuvel's artistry makes the fate of the flax crop a matter of vivid concern to the reader. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 11/28/1989
Release date: 12/01/1989
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