It has been such a pleasure to organise this month of Dutch literature and I have been incredibly happy with the way it was received in the blogging world. I especially want to thank those bloggers who went out of their way to read Dutch fiction and to think of other ways to post around this event. It was wonderful to read about all of your journeys into the land of Dutch literature. I think that is what made me feel best about this month.
I will post a wrap-up of the posts that have appeared in this latter half of the month in the upcoming days, but for now, I want to reflect back on my own experience. Especially since I started this project to try to come to grips with my own hesitancy to read Dutch books.
So here we are, at the end of June, these are the books I have read:
Granted, two of those are unfinished: In a Dark Wood Wandering will be saved for a later time, while I’m still in the middle of Jip and Janneke. However, I am proud of myself. In this short while, I have managed to read almost the amount of books necessary to complete Dutch lit class in high school.
Of course, some of these were more enjoyable than others. My favourite of the month was by far The House of the Mosque. Other books I thoroughly enjoyed were The Ten Thousand Things, though I did struggle with that one a bit; Wedding by the Sea; Tomorrow Pamplona, while not my kind of themes managed to convince me that I do not to take a proper look at contemporary Dutch fiction more often; Nomad’s Hotel because I am now convinced I need to read more by Cees Nooteboom soon; and Max Havelaar because I’m simply so proud that I finally read this and actually quite enjoyed it.
As for my former prejudice towards literature from my country? I still somewhat feel that many Dutch authors feels the need to add at least one sex scene to their book, describing it quite explicitly too, I have resolved to give literature from my country a more honest and open-minded try from now on. Every group of literature has its pearls and it’s less enjoyable novels and I shouldn’t have precluded so many books from my reading for this long.
Reading in Dutch once more was interesting too. I sometimes read books translated to Dutch, but reading books in the original language that is also my native language does have something special to it. I’m not sure I like it better than English. Actually, I think I may still prefer reading in English (yes – I am weird). I discussed this with Shanra briefly and I do hope she will post on the subject sometime, or maybe save it as a guest post for next year?
Yes, because, as many of you asked, I think I will be organising this again next year. Probably not for a full month, as some of you might have noticed, that was a bit much and I couldn’t keep up with posting daily. However, a 2-weeks period would work out well, I think. And I’d love to have an event that both pressures me into exploring literature of my own country and at the same time (hopefully) contributes to widening the horizon of other bloggers a little.
What do you think? Should I repeat the event? What should I keep/change?
As a quick recap, these are the posts I published this month:
Resource List #1
Resource List #2
The Discovery of Heaven Read Along (sign up, part 1, part 2, part 3 & part 4)
Guest Post Lizzy
Guest Post Judith
Wrap Up #1
Tomorrow Pamplona Blog Tour
Two Questions Regarding Dutch Lit Month