Gerard Reve’s late 1940’s novel, The Evenings (De avonden), has been hailed the “best Dutch novel of the 20th century” by the Dutch Society of Literature (Maatschappij der Nederlandse Letterkunde). To be sure, it was groundbreaking in its depiction of Dutch family life in post-war Europe and challenged readers’ expectations of representations of middle-class experience. The long-awaited publication of an English translation in 2017—nearly 70 years after its first appearance in Dutch—resulted in a surge of new interest in the novel, exposing it to a much wider readership and critical review. This volume of essays hopes to address topics that perhaps could not have been as freely addressed when The Evenings was published in the 1940’s given cultural mores and taboos.

Contributors to the collection may choose from the following topics or others that they deem more appropriate:

* The function of Frits' sleep and dreams in relation to his rather nocturnal activities

* Boredom and ennui on the part of the novel's characters

* The dysfunctionality of Frits' parent-child relationship

* Existential absurdities of mundane, domestic life

* Frits' focus on bodily functions and fluids and their cultural taboos

* Frits' fixation on time and space

* The Evenings' relationship to other texts such as The Stranger (1942) and Waiting for Godot (1953) from (trans)national perspectives

* The relationship of The Evenings to the social, economic, and political conditions of post-war Europe and Great Britain.

* The relation of the 1989 film version of The Evenings to the print text

* All critical paradigms are encouraged.

Please submit 500 word abstracts by August 15, 2023 to W. Reginald Rampone, Jr., Ph.D. (wrampone or Dan F. Thornton, PhD (


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