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literary love of your life With all of us adjusting to the Dutch autumn (which is the same as Dutch summer and winter but with even more wind), nothing beats snuggling under a warm blanket, rain trickling softly on the windows, to open the first page of a new book. Unfortunately, after hours of investing emotionally in your favourite characters, every book comes to an end…luckily for you, we’ve found a solution for your heartache! In this brand-new ‘dating section’, your new literarylove-of-your-life is just around the corner! G e o r g e O r w e l l : 1984 At 16, this was first book that I read completely in English (and then a second time in German, just to be sure), and it really awoke my critical thinking and disdain for totalitarian ideologies. I saw scary parallels to reality - at that time (gosh I feel old), the NSA surveillance scandal swept over Europe, enraged many people and then was forgotten as quickly as it came. Afterwards, I deleted my Facebook account and became more aware of related issues like privacy and surveillance. While Facebook has hooked me again, I still value 1984 for giving me an understanding of how societal control and totalitarianism can play out. A l b e r t C a m u s : The Stranger / The Myth of Sisyphus The Stranger was one of these books that completely changes the way you think. I read it when I was 19 in that wonderful, still ongoing, phase of finding and defining your own outlook on the world. It tells the story of Meursault, who goes through life completely indifferent and detached from any emotions or considerations for anyone else. It is written in such dry, cold language that after reading it you too will feel like you are in an absurd and indifferent universe. A scary thought, but also one that carries freedom. If the universe does not care, you can do what makes you happy - a thought he expands on in The Myth of Sisyphus, which outlines why we must imagine Sisyphus as happy. Though his task his absurd, it nonetheless gives him a purpose and meaning to his (after-)life. If you are looking for some absurdity, read The Stranger, if you want to know how to deal with it read The Myth of Sisyphus.

P a s c a l M e r c i e r : Nighttrain to Lisbon Though this did not have the same philosophy-altering effect as the others, I want to talk about it as a representative for all those books that are written so well, that the language alone absorbs you, and you cannot lay the book down until the very last page. This captivated me thoroughly, even though I can’t necessarily identify with the main character. Raimund Gregorius. A teacher of Latin and Greek at a high school in Bern, he finds a book from the Portuguese doctor-philosopher Amadeu Inácio de Almeida Prado, and suddenly decides to take break from his life. He boards the next train to Lisbon, where he follows the traces of said philosopher. While he discovers the life and story of the Portuguese doctor, he recapitulates his own steady and ordered (but also unsatisfying) life. The grand and beautiful language fascinated me, though I read the book in German, so I am unsure about the quality of its English translation.

Were these book choices a perfect match? Or do your own taste in books differ completely? If you’d like to contact our anonymous reviewer, or would like to be featured next issue, email your submission to baismag@basisthehague. nl, or contact Lotte Timmermans.

Baismag

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Baismag - November 2017 final draft  

This issue is around the theme of Self-Care, to keep you going in these dark and dreary November days.

Baismag - November 2017 final draft  

This issue is around the theme of Self-Care, to keep you going in these dark and dreary November days.

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