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War and Turpentine #2020

War and Turpentine Shortly before his death Stefan Hertmans grandfather Urbain Martien gave his grandson a set of notebooks containing the detailed memories of his life He grew up in poverty around the son of a s

  • Title: War and Turpentine
  • Author: Stefan Hertmans David McKay
  • ISBN: 9781846558825
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Paperback
  • War and Turpentine By Stefan Hertmans David McKay, Shortly before his death, Stefan Hertmans grandfather Urbain Martien gave his grandson a set of notebooks containing the detailed memories of his life He grew up in poverty around 1900, the son of a struggling church painter who died young, and went to work in an iron foundry at only 13 Afternoons spent with his father at work on a church fresco were Urbain s heaven thShortly before his death, Stefan Hertmans grandfather Urbain Martien gave his grandson a set of notebooks containing the detailed memories of his life He grew up in poverty around 1900, the son of a struggling church painter who died young, and went to work in an iron foundry at only 13 Afternoons spent with his father at work on a church fresco were Urbain s heaven the iron foundry an inferno.During the First World War, Urbain was on the front line confronting the invading Germans, and ever after he is haunted by events he can never forget The war ends and he marries his great love, Maria Emelia, but she dies tragically in the 1919 flu epidemic Urbain mourns her bitterly for the rest of his life but, like the obedient soldier he is, he marries her sister at her parents bidding The rest is not quite silence, but a marriage with a sad secret at its heart, and the consolations found in art and painting War and Turpentine is the imaginative reconstruction of a damaged life across the tumultuous decades of the twentieth century a deeply moving portrayal of family, grief, love and war.

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      290 Stefan Hertmans David McKay
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      Published :2020-04-11T17:14:36+00:00

    1 thought on “War and Turpentine

    1. Une Beaut Douloureux en FlandresONE OF NY TIMES 10 BEST BOOKS OF 2016 update on 12 9 16 The time passes from reading this book, the I appreciate its dolorous beauty as a novel about art and war and memory and love While I saw this as a decent 4 a month ago, I now see five stars in an iridescent visual collage of captivating and haunting splendour.In 1981, the Belgian author Stefan Hertmans 90 year old Flemish maternal grandfather, Urbain Martien, gave him two large notebooks he had written in [...]

    2. Non chronological story set for the most part in Ghent, Belgium, and jumping to selected periods between the birth of the narrator s grandfather in the late 1890s up to the recent past The unnamed narrator loves his grandfather, whose impoverished childhood and time in the trenches of World War 1 have marked his 90 years on earth irrevocably A painter, he took his grandson, with whom he was close, everywhere The novel reminds me in the early going of Thomas Bernhard s phenomenal Gathering Eviden [...]

    3. A War Fresco in a Fractured FrameWar and Turpentine is the author s ostensible attempt to write a life of his grandfather, a Belgian soldier in the First World War and an amateur painter all his life, tossed back and forth between the soldier he had to be and the artist he d wished to become But Stefan Hertmans never succeeds in defining that and connecting the two In round numbers, we have Turpentine 150 pages , then War 100 , then Turpentine again 50 Though intermittently interesting, and even [...]

    4. Vreemd genoeg vond ik het tweede hoofdstuk, de kern van dit boek over de Eerste Wereldoorlog, het minst interessante van de drie misschien heb ik daarvoor al wat te veel gelezen over de oorlog Gelukkig maken de meer persoonlijke eerste en derde hoofdstukken dat ruimschoots goed Aangezien ik zelf uit het Gentse afkomstig ben, moet ik toegeven dat ik wel wat een zwak voor de beschrijving van het Gent van toen heb.Prachtig geschreven boek, en vooral een zeer aangrijpend eerbetoon van de schrijver a [...]

    5. The author, Stefan Hertmans, is a well known Flemish poet Apparently there is some debate over how much of his book, War and Turpentine , is fictional and how much is true Indeed, the main character in the book, Urbain Martien, is the author s grandson and he did bequeath his memoirs to him, which took Hertmans 30 years before reading When questioned, the author has said that he only lightly edited his grandfather s memoir And yet it isn t advertised as a memoir.The book starts out with Turpenti [...]

    6. In my most distant memory of my grandfather, he is on the beach at Ostend What he sees is something like a James Ensor painting set in motion, although he despises true work of that Ostend blasphemer with the English name Ensor is a dauber , and along with toss pot and riff raff , dauber is the worst accusation he can make They re all daubers today painters they ve completely lost touch with the classical tradition, the subtle, novel craft of the old masters They muddle along with no respect for [...]

    7. Stefan Hertmans deelt in dit boek het complete levensverhaal, een portret in woorden van zijn grootvader Zijn grootvader, zijn echte grootvader, die de eerste wereldoorlog meegemaakt heeft en die die vier verschrikkelijke jaren van zijn leven had neergeschreven voor hij stierf Oorlog en terpentijn bevat dat bewerkte verhaal, voorafgegaan door een inleiding over het hoe en waarom van zijn boek en de armoedige jeugd van zijn grootvader, gevolgd door wat er na 1918 gebeurde met zijn grootvader Er v [...]

    8. I know many of us have family members who went to war and lost parts of themselves there, leaving us only with letters or journals to try to piece those years together While sections of the book are disjointed and didn t flow well, overall it was an interesting touching tribute to the author grandfather and his great grandparents The WW1 section written in the first person was vivid and powerful Urbain s relationships with his parents and the role of art music in their lives was also beautifully [...]

    9. War and Turpentine is simply one of the finest books to come out this decade, and I want to be an evangelist for this beautifully translated memoir novel hybrid It s the story of the author s grandfather, who was born in 1890, was a soldier in World War I which provides the centerpiece for the novel , and lived into his 90s The book is both a tribute to a now fully expired generation that many of us remember and a meditation on exactly how we know what we know about the people who have left us S [...]

    10. Bailed a fifth of the way in This is not really a novel at all it s a rather dry memoir with sections that go on and on that are like essayistic musings on Belgian history and culture with little about the main characters at all What little there was of an actual story was moderately interesting, about a grandfather who d been a painter of sorts What I couldn t endure was the feeling of watching paint dry while reading this.

    11. Nearing his death in 1981, Urbain Martien presented his grandson with two notebooks about his early life in Belgium It took Stefan Hertmans 30 years before he could address the material contained therein, resulting in this magnificent book The first third deals with growing up in Ghent in extreme poverty, son of a restorer of frescos, a beloved father afflicted with asthma, who dies young, leaving the legacy of a love of art When still in his teens, Martien attends four years of military school, [...]

    12. Franciscus bought everything he needed, sending an errand boy to fetch an order of expensive pigment He measured, sifted, dosed, blended, diluted, experimented, and refined until he had the right mixture He made trial brushstrokes on some boards he had sawn for that purpose and compared, deliberated, started over Lying on his back, he painted the ceiling a jumble of clouds and windblown robes, of streamers and vague faces, a divine epiphany that brought heavenly music to mind, the music of the [...]

    13. I m always sceptic when I start reading a much acclaimed book, because the high expectations usually turn out to be counterproductive In this case I have to say that it is not too bad, although the book is certainly not the masterpiece that one makes of it War and turpentine is limping on different legs, and that is where my problem lies It is primarily a portrait of the author s grandfather, Urbain Martien, and a family chronicle Hertmans reconstructs the life of his grandfather on the basis of [...]

    14. The battle between the transcendent and the memory of death and destruction is eloquently shared through the life of Urbain Martien, the author s grandfather, in War and Turpentine, a book called a future classic by the Guardian.Thirty years after inheriting his grandfather s papers Stefan Hertmans finally read the memoirs Urbain s early life in poverty drove him into the Ghent steel mills as a teenager Then came the sudden epiphany that he, like his father who restored church murals, must be an [...]

    15. Ik zit na het lezen van dit boek met een dubbel gevoel Enerzijds is het stylistisch zo mooi en een plezier om te lezen Prachtige zinnen, een mooi eerbetoon aan een grootvader die de auteur nu pas, zoveel jaren na zijn dood, begint te begrijpen Kortom een meer dan geslaagd portret van een voorouder en wat die voor jou heeft betekend Een portret dat met kop en schouders uitsteekt boven de vele middelmatige portretten van schrijvers over mijn vader, moeder, grootvader.En toch vrees ik dat Hertmans [...]

    16. War and Turpentine is superlative The final section with its discoveries and emotion is powerful and even stupendous The middle forms the heart of the story, and the whole thing minding a few awkward moments is wonderfully written and imagined and imparted To write the book the author, a Flemish poet, relied on journals entrusted to him by his grandfather, an amateur painter whose life was upended by war and the illnesses that took his father and his betrothed I was interested in War and Turpent [...]

    17. Although my edition of War and Turpentine is published by Text Publishing right here in Melbourne, its release had somehow passed me by and it was listening to a Radio National interview with its Flemish author Stefan Hertmans which piqued my interest in the book As the author, explaining his delay in dealing with his grandfather s memoirs, says himself the hundredth anniversary of the cataclysm would release a flood of books a new barrage alongside the almost unscaleable mountain of existing hi [...]

    18. Heel mooi boek over het leven van zijn grootvader Niet enkel de oorlog komt aan bod eerder miniem voor mijn verwachtingen maar ook vele andere gebeurtenissen De zo uitgebreide passages over schilderkunst en muziek zijn zo veelvoorkomend dat de passie van de man er vanaf druipt Je kan je echt verplaatsen in zijn schoenen

    19. It is a fine book So many emotions evoked across these various lives and experiences While the scenes of Aubain s youth and war service are stomach turning at times, there is just as much beauty I especially liked the depictions of various kinds of love, between parent and child, disappointed lover and wife, intense romantic love, and between grandparent and grandchild If you read The Guns of August and wondered what it would have been like as a soldier or civilian as the German army invaded neu [...]

    20. Hertmans is een woordenminnaar die zeldzame woordjes koestert Oorlog en Terpentijn is zijn grote roman Een zelfbewuste tour de force die van klein naar groot gaat, en terug Van het intieme naar de wereldgeschiedenis, en weer terug Van grootvader naar de grote oorlog, en uiteindelijk weer terug kleinkind.Als Lanoye in Sprakeloos lijkt Hertmans eerst rond de pot te draaien, afstand te willen bewaren, tot het niet meer kan En het onderwerp zich opdringt Dit is schrijven omdat het moet Soms lijkt he [...]

    21. This book is a loving tribute from a grandson to his grandfather I read that the grandfather left his notebooks to his grandson who left them untouched for 30 years until the upcoming centenary of the First World War reminded him of his grandfather s stories and prompted him to look at the books.I m not generally good with books about war I find the suffering in them hard to read This book is no exception to that It has some horrendous scenes One of the things I liked about this particular take [...]

    22. War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans is wonderful secondhand memoir, with the grandson sharing his own grandfather s handwritten memoirs of his life in Belgium from the turn of the 20th century through WW I Parts verge on novelisation of the source material, which engages readers Like Michael Chabon in Moonglow, Hertmans often tries to live through his great grandfather, grandfather and father I found the most remarkable parts of War and Turpentine were his laying bare the disruptive influence [...]

    23. War and Turpentine recounts the life of Stefan Hertman s grandfather, Urbain This taciturn, deeply religious, dutiful, yet sensitive man lived a life characterized by war in this case, World War I and turpentine which represents the influence of art and beauty in Urbain s life.Basing his narrative on his grandfather s memoirs, walks through modern day Ghent, as well as other historical accounts, the author shares with us the history, not only of his grandfather, but of a bygone era in Ghent and [...]

    24. Ik deed er best lang over om het uit te lezen en was niet onmiddellijk overtuigd, maar moet toch besluiten dat ik dit een Zeer Goed Boek vind Met Hoofdletters Geen vijf sterren omdat het mij niet onmiddellijk wist mee te slepen.

    25. Wat een schitterende roman Zeker in de eerste helft van het boek had ik een sterk Verdriet van Belgi gevoel niet omdat deze roman daarop lijkt, maar omdat dit net zo n groots meesterwerk lijkt te zijn Ik kende Hertmans van zijn slimme en vermakelijke vroege roman Naar Merelbeke, ik wist dus al dat hij kon schrijven maar was hem wat uit het oog verloren Ik zie in mijn boekenkast dat ik ook Als op de eerste dag heb gelezen, maar kan me daar niets van herinneren, misschien dat het me een beetje teg [...]

    26. Dit boek is wel ok , maar zeker niet het meesterwerk waarvoor het versleten wordt Hertmans draait veel weinig gebruikte, vergeten woorden in zijn tekst maar dat maakt het nog geen stilistisch meesterwerk Het eerste deel, over de jeugd van zijn grootvader, is vaak rommelig Er wordt van de hak op de tak gesprongen tussen het standpunt van de overgrootvader, de grootvader en de schrijver, ook de chronologie zit soms fout Ik kon maar moeilijk meeleven met de personages.In het tweede deel maakt het b [...]

    27. Stefan Hertmans herwerkte de memoires van zijn grootvader De manier waarop is stuntelig, en niet boeiend Hij heeft het constant over mijn grootvader dit, mijn grootvader dat Het grootste deel gaat over zijn jonge leven Pas in deel 2 komt de oorlog aan bod Dit deel is het ene dat in de ik vorm geschreven is Meteen ook het boeiendste van de 3 delen In deel drie gaat het weer over mijn grootvader , worden o.a zijn schilderijen beschreven, en wordt het onverdraaglijk saai Zijn grootvader was ongetwi [...]

    28. I really enjoy the challenge of novels that have a complex and multi stranded plot line and this one certainly fulfills that description It is the story of a family from Ghent in Belgium and at different times we meet 5 different generations of this family, though their story is not told in a linear fashion The main thread comes from the fact that the narrator, in the current era, reads through his Grandfather s journal written during the time period and actions of the First World War It is impo [...]

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