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Two generations opposed to one another

The Flax Field

Stijn Streuvels

‘The Flax Field’ is constructed as a classic tragedy, and tells of the tragic conflict between father and son Vermeulen. The father rules over his entire farm as an authoritarian patriarch. He is certain that he knows in which field flax can best be sown. But Louis, his almost grown up son who has quite a bit of insight into farming, thinks differently. Father and son soon become stubborn competitors. When, on top of all that, Louis starts fooling around with the milkmaid, it’s too much for farmer Vermeulen and he enters into a confrontation with his son. In ‘The Flax Field’, two generations are opposed to each other, a conflict resulting in a tragic family drama.

Streuvels is the Tolstoy of the Lowlands. Magisterial.
David Van Reybrouck

In ‘The Flax Field’, Streuvels gives form to the eternal generational conflict between youth and age, against the backdrop of the head-on collision between modernity and conservatism. The new age announces itself in Louis’ rebelliousness, and in the attitude of his wife Barbele towards her husband. In this book, the element of fate is not only formulated in the inevitable rebellion, but also in the dependence on the weather, which is inescapable for the farming craft.

If the sun could write, it would write like Streuvels.
Albert Verwey