By Louis Paul Boon
Translated by Adrienne Dixon
Publication Date: 03/05/2024
According to the author, Chapel Road is the book about the childhood of Ondine [. . .] about her brother Valeer-Traleer with his monstrous head wobbling through life this way and that. But the book is about a lot more than that. It is also the story of Louis Paul Boon, an author working on a novel entitled Chapel Road, surrounded by his colorful group of friends. His readers and companions include the painter Tippetotje, who habitually works a naked woman into her paintings, and Johan Janssens, the journalist and poet who is fired from the paper for refusing to agree with the Capitalists, the Socialists or the Ultra-Marxists. Beyond that, Chapel Road includes a retelling of the myth of Reynard the fox and Isengrinus the wolf, a tale that underscores the greed, stupidity, hypocrisy, pride and lust motivating the other characters of the book. Chapel Road is a pool, a sea, a chaos: it is the book of all that can be heard and seen in Chapel Road, from the year 1800-and-something until today.
“One of the few truly magnificent novels in Dutch language-literature. A masterpiece.” – De Volkskrant
Louis Paul Boon (1912-1979) started out as a house painter but went on to become the author of a large and rich oeuvre spanning several genres: from the compelling historical epics he composed later in life to his sharp, witty work as a newspaper columnist and his tongue-in-cheek, scabrous novels. Boon is one of the most important writers of Flemish literature in the twentieth century, a keen observer of society, the individual and the interplay between them.