Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New novel by Jeroen Theunissen: A kind of tiredness

Meulenhoff | Manteau recently published Jeroen Theunissen's second novel A kind of tiredness. It's a story that makes the reader gasp for air. Theunissen succeeded in putting into words the fundamental doubt of modern man. How we always reach for our shadow and will always want what we don’t have.

Horacio Gnade is a world citizen because the world is a village. He’s in his thirties and lives and works in a small German university town. He cannot imagine not being a conformist. That’s why he’s married and why he has a daughter. He doesn’t have a problem with cheating on his wife since cheating isn’t cheating as long as no one knows anything about it. He doesn’t want to be a burden to others and also wants others to leave him alone as much as possible. His biggest concern is to avoid romantic thoughts, thoughts that lead nowhere. Gnade neither has hope nor faith. And then it goes wrong…
One day, he gets sick. From that moment on, he no longer has control over events. He starts stalking a young woman. In a sudden burst of senseless violence, he almost strangles a boy and he abandons his family. He runs away to Paris and later to Patagonia, because he is counting on finding peace there while waiting for the money to be gone. Finally, out of boredom, despair, or simply because he gets carried away by a sexy activist, he travels to an Indian community.

Jeroen Theunissen (1977) made a remarkable debut with De onzichtbare (The invisible) (2004). He published the collection of poems Thuisverlangen (Longing for home) (2005) and the unanimously very well received collected stories Het einde (The end) (2006).

English sample translation available.

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