Skewering the pomposity of big business while revealing how an entrepreneurial spirit can often be a mask for buffoonery, Willem Elsschot’s Cheese combines. CHEESE. Willem Elsschot, Author, Paul Vincent, Translator, trans. from the Dutch by Paul Vincent. Granta $ (p) ISBN X. Cheese. 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.

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The book deals with an episode in the life xheese Frans Laarmans, a clerk who is suddenly made chief representative in Belgium and Luxembourg of a Dutch cheese company.

A decent satire of the business world general enough to ring true even todayCheese also isn’t that ambitious, lesschot the pleasure is to be found in the tone, the nicely set scenes domestic and professionaland the constant small failures Laarmans endures.

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.

His masterpiece Kaas …. Topics Fiction in translation Nicholas Lezard’s choice. FictionHumour Tags: Email Subscription Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Cheese – Willem Elsschot

Books of the Week. Every sentence has the expressive power of pure poetry.

He stores the cheese in his cellar, sets up an office and waits. I am reading another book translated from the Dutch right now, Evenings. Breathing into Marble, the film is out now, doing the rounds of international film festivals. Emma Mar 04, Meanwhile, his cheese sits stinking in a warehouse.


His co-workers, or possibly ex-co-workers, paint a vivid picture of the excitement he is missing. 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.

A winstons books winston speaks women in translation. This is not going well. Elsschot is one of the greatest twentieth-century Dutch-language writers and generation after generation has had the pleasure of rediscovering his small but masterly oeuvre.

The editors of the important magazine Forum had encouraged him to break ten years of silence and return to prose.

Cheese: A Novel by Willem Elsschot review – self-improvement through edam

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. I stood in the middle of the cellar, like an instructor in a manege, keeping a close eye on everything until the last crate had been brought in The large pile of cheese he has to get rid off before it goes off.

Discover what to read next. He spends ages thinking up a name for his company, trying to find a typewriter, marvelling at his new telephone, writing advertisements for agents his own adverts impress him so much he feels like answering them himself.

I said and still hold by it that humour is hard to translate, in parts it works. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Join 5, other followers.


They were now facing away from the window instead of the other way around. Laarmans isn’t fond of cheese—upon visiting a cheese shop, he observes, “The Roqueforts and Gorgonzolas lewdly flaunted their mould, and a squadron of Camemberts let their pus ooze out freely”—but he is willing to snatch at any opportunity to escape his drab job at the shipping yards and enhance his social standing.


By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. 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. The 10 Best Emily Dickinson Poems.

Email required Address never made public. He gets in a tangle with one supply with ordering to many as he get confused over what he has ordered with him then twenty tons of cheese turns up. Translated by Sander Berg.

Cheese by Willem Elsschot. When the ambitious but inept clerk Frans Laarmans is offered a job managing an Edam distribution company in Antwerp, he jumps at the chance, despite his professed dislike for cheese in all its forms. Ccheese the words of his fellow writer Louis Paul Boon: The business world defeats him from the first, but he’s always willing to give it and everything a try.

View Full Version of PW. In the meantime, 10, wheels of Edam are delivered. But Mr Van Schoonbeke could own his vheese if he wished, and no one knows this better than his friends.