The more traveling I do, the more wise I become (gerbie) wrote,
The more traveling I do, the more wise I become
gerbie

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Marek van der Jagt - Monogaam (02-11)

Just a little book, but plenty to talk. I read this one in the bus on my way to Spain. The students laughed at me, as I fell asleep at some point with the book on me, they saw the front page, a naked lady seen from the back. The hardly visible nipple, she's half turned, caused a bit of a stir amongst them.

It was hardly an investment. In the 'boekenweek' this essay was a bargain. Van der Jagt lives in Vienna, though not everybody is convinced that he is who he claims to be. He wrote a novel, his second novel is due to appear. Many critics thought they recognised Arnon Grunberg in him. Only yesterday, I read an article in the paper that there was proof of their hypothesis. According to a group of Italian mathematicians, Van der Jagt is Grunberg. Apparently, the structure of his words can be analysed by foreigners, although they cannot speak the language. Allow me to remain sceptical.

Whatever the case, I enjoyed reading this book. Van der Jagt does a lot of self analysis in this essay, his search for love, or better sex, turns out to be a quest for power. He decides to treat his father as a guinea pig. He wants to have absolute control over everyone in his life. He wants to rule their lives. He has a few relationships, though the importance of them is clear when he doesn't even name them. An initial or a profession is how he describes them. He is a born adulterer. Throughout the essay, it becomes clearer what a psychopath he is. It makes for interesting reading and funny statements. The idea that a large penis is there to clear out the womb from other semen, is an original one (at least for me). I enjoyed reading this book.

One of my students read it on the way home from Spain. She was shocked. By that time several were lining up for the little book. The only one who finished it still occasionally mentions the name of the author. I shan't tell you exactly her idea what she wants to do, should she meet him. Some others read a page at random. How they managed to select page 32 remains another question. The statement: "Survival means the destruction of the opponent. In this vagina, this black hole, in this lovely hell there is no room for the both of us." The reaction of 17-year-old girls wasn't surprising. Perhaps when they grow up they see a deeper truth instead of just some vulgar language. Perhaps not. However, isn't that the force of literature?
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