In Response to Nescio

In his piece Amsterdam Stories, Nescio articulates the monotony of life in Amsterdam for a group of men as they grapple with the transition from adolescence to adulthood, all the while implementing the concepts of landscape, time, and liberation to paint vivid scenes of note from their seemingly melancholy lives. Perhaps the most persistent metaphor throughout Nescio’s writing is that of the setting/rising sun, especially through the eyes of destined-for-madness Bavnik, who is so moved by the image of the sun reflecting on the land of his upbringing that it ultimately drives him to spend his days with an all-consuming, unnatural obsession. As Koekebakker describes, no matter the setting (either urban or rural), the sun persists every day, which highlights the importance of landscape and its interaction with the natural features such as the sun, or water. It can be noted that in this piece, the more urban landscapes such as the scene of Kee’s life, are described to be gloomy and depressing, like how Kees works for a gas company and lives in his stuffy apartment dealing with the “chronic shortages in working-class households.” In contrast, the pastoral land of their youth provides consistent comfort and peace, enlightenment even given it was the home of their many existential conversations.


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