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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Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here He works elssschot 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.

Because then it will turn into a lecture. His novels are mainly characterized by a laconic, sparse and often cynical style, but are full of insight and humor. Laarmans is a character that Elsschot used in his other big novel and again in his other books he wrotehe was considered to be semi biographical reflection of the man himself.

It can be read in two days, perhaps less.

In early s Amsterdam, a friend of a friend offers year-old Frans Laarmans a position as an Edam cheese distributor. Emma Mar 04, The business world defeats him from the first, but he’s always willing to give it and everything a try. Post was not sent – check your email addresses!

The book’s poker-faced humor falls a bit flat in translation, though Laarmans’s ordeal makes for nail-biting reading, and Elsschot’s class commentary is astute. For the ensuing weeks, he tracks down office supplies–second-hand desks, typewriters, a telephone–and gets his office arranged. Captain Saturday Max Barry: Frans Laarmans is the main character of this cheeesehe starts as a clerk in the novel in Antwerp. He will elsscnot cheese, tons of it, even though he has no sales experience.


Suddenly his “unapproachable” hours were explained. Elsschot is considered one of the most distinguished twentieth century Flemish writers.

CHEESE by Willem Elsschot , Paul Vincent | Kirkus Reviews

They were now facing away from wullem window instead of the other way around. Suddenly my chair slid backward, as though of its own accord.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress. View Full Version of PW. Originally published inthis classic Dutch comedy tells the tale of a determined but misguided marine shipping clerk enmeshed in a cumbersome cheese-centered farce.

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 elschot dislike for cheese in all its forms.

Unfortunately few of his writings are available in English translation. Alfons de Ridder, the head of a successful advertising agency, had never said a word about his writing at home. His concise, witty and often cynical novels satirize the mundanity of twentieth-century life and are cherished throughout Belgium and Holland.

This is where the problems begin with this new job where in a chance to impress his bosses and prove that a simple clerk like him is worth the job. While interesting to writers, it will leave most readers confused.

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

He died in A bit over halfway through this short novel, Frans Laarmans, an ineffectual clerk at an Antwerp shipyard, has visitors from his office. But has a chance to further his career and becomes a merchant in a much larger company egged on by his posh friends to take the job.

Cheese may be a light alternative to those serious, weighty tomes everyone’s dragging along on vacation. I will never eat another wedge of Edam and think that it is just cheese. Authors chese translators Books. He spends most of his time worrying about naming his company and setting up his office, rather than actually selling any cheese.


The editors of the important magazine Forum had encouraged him to break ten years of silence and return to prose. In an odd move, Vincent places “The Author’s Original Preface” after the novel’s last chapter, giving the impression of a modernistic coda. A Novel is published by Alma. Anytime I’ve heard the Dutch speak English, they say lorry for truck and cheek for guts.

Willem Elsschot

This site uses cookies. The book deals with an episode in the life of Frans Laarmans, a clerk who is suddenly made chief representative in Belgium and Elsscot of a Dutch cheese company. Willem Elsschot Willem Elsschot was the pen name of Alphonsus Josephus de Ridder, an Antwerp advertising executive who became an icon of Flemish literature.

He translates Elsschot economically and tersely with relatively few Briticisms, and those that do appear shouldn’t distract American readers whatsoever.

We have not yet encountered any of the people named, but we get the idea of just how thrilling life is at their office. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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 wille, he is willing to snatch at any opportunity to escape his drab job at the shipping yards and enhance his social standing.

Cheese opens ostensibly as a letter from Frans Laarmans to an unnamed correspondent. A winstons books winston speaks women in translation.