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Dostoyevskian tale by Flanders’ master of magic realism

The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short

Johan Daisne

Teacher Govert Miereveld becomes enchanted by his pupil Fran. Unable to express his love, he leaves the school and changes both his job and hometown. He starts working at the Ministry of Justice in Brussels. Ten years later he attends an autopsy, which affects him a great deal. Later that day, he also runs into Fran in the hotel where he is staying. That night, he visits her in her hotel room, where a drama unfolds.

After Fran’s murder, Govert ends up in a psychiatric institution where he tries to reconstruct his mental breakdown. But soon the suspicion grows that the murder case is not as clear-cut as it seems. Did he actually murder Fran?

A mix of acutely observed human passions and surrealist contradictions
Dietsche Warande en Belfort

Johan Daisne was one of the first to introduce magic realism to literature in Dutch. As in the rest of his work, here too we find an amalgam of dream and reality, life and death. ‘The Man Who Had His Hair Cut Short’ is one of the highlights of Johan Daisne’s oeuvre. Like The Train of Inertia, it was later filmed by Belgian director André Delvaux.

Daisne has gone down in history as the godfather of magic realism.