Thursday, 15 December 2011

Gerard Reve, Dutch writer

b. 14 December 1923
d.  8 April 2006

Together with Willem Frederik Hermans and Harry Mulisch, Reve is considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch post-war literature. His 1981 novel De vierde man was the basis for Paul Verhoeven's 1983 film.

Reve was one of the first homosexuals to come out in the Netherlands, and is the country's best known, most popular, and most controversial gay writer. He often wrote explicitly about erotic attraction, sexual relations and intercourse between men, which many readers considered to be shocking. However, he did this in an ironic, humorous and recognizable way, which contributed to making homosexuality acceptable for many of his readers. Another main theme, often in combination with eroticism, was religion. Reve himself declared that the primary message in all of his work was salvation from the material world we live in.

His debut novel De Avonden (The Evenings [1947]) portrayed a disillusioned post-war generation. It contains some of Reve's dominant topics--(homo)sexuality, death and religion--and the main characteristics of his literary style, which often is ironic and archaic and mixes the lofty with the trivial. De Avonden is now considered one of the milestones of twentieth-century Dutch literature.


Terugkeer (1940),
De avonden (1947),
Werther Nieland (1949),
De ondergang van de familie Boslowitz (1950),
De taal der liefde (1972),
Lieve jongens (1973),
Een circusjongen (1975),
Oud en eenzaam (1978),
De vierde man,
Nader tot u,
Het boek van Violet en Dood,
Brieven aan Matroos Vosch 1975-1992,
Met niks begonnen, correspondentie met Willem Nijholt (1997),
Het hijgend hert (1998),
Verzameld werk, deel 6 (2001)

glbtq encyclopedia: Dutch and Flemish Literature
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