by Romain Rolland
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Amazon Editorial Review
Life Itself is the first book-length study in English of the great Flemish writer Louis Paul Boon. A.M.A. van den Oever begins by questioning the paradox between Boon's international reputation as a significant innovator of the novel, and the peculiarly reductive biographical interpretations regularly uttered by some of his fellow countrymen and contemporaries. She looks for answers in Boon's misinterpreted "primitive" Flemish and analyzes the so-called refined pseudo-primitive style within both the grotesque tradition (Kafka, van Ostaijen, Gogol) and the skeptical, radical tradition of Nietzsche. In addition, she offers fresh insight into Boon's character Boontje, seen by many as a diminutive for the writer himself, outlining the sublime and slightly sinister relation of this quasi-comical character to its mighty creator.
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