notes on dutch literature

Discovering Louis Paul Boon

In Masters on October 30, 2012 at 9:00 PM

Louis Paul Boon

In 2009 Dalkey Archive Press published the first English translation of My Little War by the Flemish author Louis Paul Boon (1912–1979). According to the publisher Boon has suffered a near-complete critical neglect in English. Despite having written an enormous amount over an extensive career, Boon remains almost entirely untranslated in English until very recently. Boon’s early novels were conventionally structured historical treatments of nineteenth-century working-class life, but his exposure to major modernist figures such as Céline, Joyce, and Dos Passos changed his literary direction; he would go on to produce such modernistic fare as Chapel RoadSummer in Termuren, and My Little War. These novels, considered major classics of Dutch literature, remain almost unknown in the English-speaking world. My Little War was translated by the talented Paul Vincent.

On the publisher’s website you’ll find an excerpt (1st chapter) of My Little War

Here’s a review published on



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