Gerard Reve  

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"Reve was prosecuted in 1966 for breaking a law against blasphemy. In Nader tot U he describes the narrator's love-making to God, a visitor to his house incarnated in a one-year-old mouse-grey donkey. In April 1968 he was acquitted by the Supreme Court. Although it would take decades for the Netherlands to decriminalize blasphemy, in 2013 the law was abolished, the outcome of this case — known as the “Donkey Trial” — rendered the existing law virtually obsolete."--Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Gerard Kornelis van het Reve (14 December 1923 – 8 April 2006) was a Dutch writer. He started writing as Simon Gerard van het Reve and adopted the shorter Gerard Reve in 1973. Together with Willem Frederik Hermans and Harry Mulisch, he is considered one of the "Great Three" (De Grote Drie) of Dutch post-war literature. His 1981 novel De vierde man (The Fourth Man) was the basis for Paul Verhoeven's 1983 film.

Reve was one of the first homosexual authors to come out in the Netherlands. He often wrote explicitly about erotic attraction, sexual relations and intercourse between men, which many readers considered shocking. However, he did this in an ironic, humorous and recognizable way, which contributed to making homosexuality acceptable for many of his readers. Another main theme, often in combination with eroticism, was religion. Reve himself declared that the primary message in all of his work was salvation from the material world we live in.

Gerard Reve was born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and was the brother of the Slavicist and essayist Karel van het Reve, who became a staunch anti-communist in his own way; the personal rapport between the brothers was not good. They broke off relations altogether in the 1980s.




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