Along with ‘Pallieter’, ‘Peasant Psalm’ is one of Felix Timmermans’ most renowned novels. In it, a farmer recounts the story of his life: his connection to the soil which he works, his relationship with God (and pastor), and his natural acceptance of his and his family’s fate. The story, written in the first person, echoes with this simple man’s love for life.
In both content and form, his writing shows an unequalled degree of unmistakable originality, such talent is a gift of nature and cannot be learntGerard Walschap
The main character is Farmer Wortel, who feels a strong bond with his native soil. His wife Fien is his polar opposite. Her son, Fons, who is at a loss with his surroundings and especially himself, is the cause of much worry for her and eventually becomes her downfall. Farmer Wortel remarries Frisine, the wife of his son Fons, who has since also died. Consumed by jealousy, Wortel constantly suspects his young wife of being unfaithful. One night, when she goes looking for Famer Wortel, she falls into the water, with fatal consequences. Wortel eventually returns to his own land, the only place in his life where he can find a good footing and balance.
‘Peasant Psalm’ is a novel that reveals a deep knowledge of suffering, in which praise of nature gives way to praise of humanity.
A brilliant representative of folk art (…) its natural genius finds its most delightful expression in this workAlbert Westerlinck
His vision was that of a poet, his language poetically chargedJosé de Ceulaer