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J.J. Voskuil
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Please! tranSLATE BOOK > J. J. Voskuil

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message 1: by Jacob (new)

Jacob (jacobaugust) | 21 comments I don't read or speak Dutch, so all I know about J. J. Voskuil's Het Bureau ("The Office") Cycle comes from this helpful review of the first volume:
Say hello to my new addiction; this first part of the 7 volume (> 5000 pages) monstrous novel, spans about 760 pages and not one of them is boring.

The novel is an autobiographical account of the life of a self conscious young man who studied Dutch language in university and who accepts a job at a national "Folk art and language institute". He despises science and hierarchy but hates being a teacher even more.

The novel is about being powerless against the weight of the world. Although Maarten, the protagonist, has zero interest in his work and hates his colleagues considering themselves important, during the novel you see him very gradually changing and becoming just like them.

Luckily there are 4300 more pages to read.


Intriguing, no? Also voted one of the Best Dutch Novels by this publication. I know I want to read it in English, please.


message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Jacob wrote: "I don't read or speak Dutch, so all I know about J. J. Voskuil's Het Bureau ("The Office") Cycle comes from this helpful review of the first volume: Say hello to my new addiction; this first part o..."

Who do we petition to get this translated?!

Looks like the first volume is translated into German, so that's a start...


message 3: by Jacob (new)

Jacob (jacobaugust) | 21 comments A few more reviews in English:

Meikoningin:
This book is an autobiographic account of a man who works in the same scientific office for thirty years. The book is over 5,500 pages thick, divided in 7 parts, but it is easy to read.
On the surface nothing seems to be happening, yet at the same time there is a lot happening. The book is an interpretation of one person's perception of his every day surroundings.
Anyone working in an office environment, especially a scientific or governmental one, can find something, if not a lot, he or she can relate to in this book, for example petty little arguments with colleagues, tiresome meetings, pointless work and dull coffee conversations.


jrz (of the German edition):
Absolutely brilliant - really loved it!

Quite unusual in its approach to describe the everyday life of an office worker as an ongoing stream of everyday experiences. Everything is equally important and so nothing is really important. Does really reflect the/my experiences working in an office, even if the Netherlands in the 1960s and the work in a research insitute are kind of special compared to my office world. But one thing is never changing: Your colleagues can make you heaven or hell and sometimes both.

Really hoping that the next seven [six?] books will be also translated in German.


This review on Amazon.

Wow, I really, really want to read this. Maybe I should just learn Dutch, because I doubt this'll ever show up in English...


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