RE: Re: RARA-AVIS: Janwillem Van De Wetering

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 13 Sep 2001

<<I used to read Wetering alongside Sjowall and Wahloo's Martin Beck series and Nicholas Freeling, whose Van der Valk procedurals are also set in Amsterdam
(recommend Apres De Ma Blonde or Criminal Conversation). None hesitates at graphic description, but the outlook and style are more "European"--world-weary with some yields of hope.>>

All of the named authors are excellent. The attitude is more one of observing what's going on, rather than acting. It's a cold kind of fiction, but it has the potential for moving. It cannot be a coincidence that K.C. Constantine is revered in Europe, or so I hear. Another excellent US author with a similar perspective is James Sallis. Don't look for joy or heroic deeds.

We need a name for this kind of fiction that watches life dispassionately and avoids heroes and heroism entirely. I half-heartedly propose the adjective "Simenonal" or
"Simenonic". It could be called "existentialist", but the term has lost its punch, unfortunately.




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