Oude en nieuwe buitelingen

By Godfried Bomans

The contents of this volume in Elsevier’s attempt at the collected works of Godfried Bomans reflect most accurately the kind of work Bomans is second best remembered for, after Eric. Fairly long, whimsical pieces of prose.

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    Godfried Bomans

  • Title: Oude en nieuwe buitelingen
  • Pages: 174
  • Published: 1972 (1970; Buitelingen 1948, Nieuwe Buitelingen 1955)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • ISBN: 90-10-00125-3

The pieces are ordered as follows:

  • Vier verhalen (four stories
  • Satyren (Satirical Satyrs)
  • Psychologische verkenningen (Psychological investigations)
  • Onzin (Nonsense)
  • Petite Histoire
  • Lichamelijke oefeningen (P.E.)

Bomans was at his best when he was writing whimsical little anecdotes (although… not that little — he took his time) about general subjects. Sometimes, as with the report of Verlaine’s visit to the Netherlands, it’s very hard to separate sense and nonsense, to discriminate between what’s true, and what originated in Bomans’ lively imagination.

On the other hand, where he describes his prowess as a chess grandmaster, or Arie Rekelbast, the famous soccer champion of the Haarlemmer soccer club De Spaarneboys, it’s very clear what one should believe, even fifty years later.

Bomans practices a form of wit, of whimsy that is far superior to anything that might be called wacky, zany or hilarious. His Dutch is cultured, in of a certain Roman-Catholic type that is typical for some authors from his, like Havank.

I still want his complete complete work…