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CHEESE. Willem Elsschot, Author, Paul Vincent, Translator, trans. from the Dutch by Paul Vincent. Granta $ (p) ISBN X. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Cheese by Willem Elsschot. Cheese. Willem Elsschot. Since its publication in English in , ‘Cheese’ has conquered the world with translations in almost 30 languages. The novella deals .

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Elsschot is one of the greatest twentieth-century Dutch-language writers and generation after generation has had the pleasure elsachot rediscovering his small but masterly oeuvre. If you happen to click on one of links and make a purchase, we earn a commission and we always appreciate your support.


So many comic novels, and comic writings in general, feel as if they were plastic-wrapped American singles. He will sell cheese, tons of it, even though he has no sales experience.

To find out more, including how to control chese, see here: Meanwhile, his offices fill up with a seemingly infinite supply of the distinctive red-skinned cheeses, which he has no idea how to sell.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Eventually, he makes a small sale of two cases to the cheeseshop, leaving him still with tons in storage.

Willem Elsschot : Cheese : Book Review

His concise, witty and often cynical novels satirize the mundanity elxschot twentieth-century life and are cherished throughout Belgium and Holland.

Laarmans has decided to leave his position at the General Marine and Shipping Company as a clerk, a job in which “there’s nothing really sacred about. The editors of the important magazine Forum had encouraged him to break ten years of silence and return to prose.

Originally published inthis classic Dutch comedy tells the tale of a determined but misguided marine shipping clerk enmeshed in a cumbersome cheese-centered farce. In an odd move, Vincent places “The Author’s Original Preface” after the novel’s last chapter, giving the impression of a modernistic coda. Laarmans has some ideas about how business works, but little practical sense. He finally makes a small sale to the businessmen in Von Schoonbeke’s circle. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: This Mr Van Sconnbeke comes from an old, wealthy family.

It turns out that his reason elsschhot leave of absence, neurosis, is an apt description of Laarmans.


Willem Elsschot

There had been quite a number of changes at the office in those few weeks. Originally written in Dutch, Cheese has been recently translated by Paul Vincent, who has also translated another of Elsschot’s novels as well as other Dutch writers. Upon his wife’s advice, Laarmans asks his brother, a doctor, to give him a certificate for a leave of absence due to medical reasons.

I especially love the use of “cheesified,” a neologism that enriches the English language. Emma Mar 04, Litzka and Her Men Robert Inman: Discover what to read next. The small trim size, bright jacket and low price point may make this an appealing gift buy, though Elsschot’s particular brand of dry humor won’t be to everyone’s taste.

Laarmans has no idea how to go about this, and he hates cheese. He works for the general Marine and Shipbuilding Company and, “getting on for fifty”, long reached as high a position and wage as he can expect there; in fact he’s expecting the gradual decline in his pay that is the norm at the company once an employee like him has made it this far.

Instead, he skips down to a bar and has a few drinks. Among the Lost by Emiliano Monge tr. He places an ad for salesmen, but he never sells cheese, a product that he eventually admits his dislike for. He finds it when an influential friend of his brother arranges for him to take delivery of and sell 20 tonnes of full-cream edam.

But Mr Van Schoonbeke could own his car if he wished, and no one knows this better than his friends.

Cheese by Willem Elsschot. For the ensuing weeks, he tracks down office supplies–second-hand desks, typewriters, a telephone–and gets his office arranged. Ida de Ridder published her memoirs of her father Alfons de Ridder, the man who gained fame as a writer under the pseudonym Willem Elsschot I feel there is another level that maybe we miss that is some what Belgium humourI was reminded of what Jonathan meades observations about the wiillem ways cheesse is so different yet so close to us the quirky way they have small museums for everything and the way each street is individual in their look.

Click here for more information. When he is informed that his supervisor is en route to meet him and settle accounts, Laarmans frantically struggles to make a sale. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.


Laarmans’ neurotic panic will be familiar to anyone who’s ever felt surrounded by people who know their jobs better than you do: FictionHumour Tags: A bit over halfway through this short novel, Cheesd Laarmans, an ineffectual clerk at an Antwerp shipyard, eosschot visitors from his office. Cheese opens ostensibly as a letter from Frans Laarmans to an elsschto correspondent. Ultimately disillusioned, Laarmans ends up back in his job as clerk.

Cheese – Willem Elsschot

But as inept as cheese man he is, he is even more so as a delegate to the Department of Trade. Playing it safe, Laarmans doesn’t quit his old job, getting a medical certificate that lets him stay away from work for a couple of months. The book’s poker-faced humor falls a bit flat in translation, though Laarmans’s ordeal makes for nail-biting reading, elsscbot Elsschot’s class commentary is astute.

You are commenting using your WordPress. Kaas is a brilliant evocation of the thirties and depicts a world full of smart operators and failed businessmen; the book is, above all, about human shortcomings and no one writes about them as well as Elsschot does. Email Subscription Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Then he tries to get it sold but with no hopehis wife and children suffer as he starts to fall apart in a way. Cheese isn’t a broad comedy of errors, but rather a gentle, humorous story of small-time ambition faced with too grand an opportunity. Meanwhile he’s set up with a twenty-ton shipment of full-fat Edam, and he’s in business.

Notify me of new comments via email. Laarmans is elected vice-president of a cheese association, a job he doesn’t want due to the likely publicity it will attract. The result was the delightful novel Kaas.