Skip to main content
Masterful elegy on love, desire and history

The Reflections

Erwin Mortier

After World War I Edgard Demont returns physically and emotionally wounded to his native country. In search of a safe place among the confusion and destruction he finds that lovers are more effective than medication in helping him live with injuries that go deeper than the scars on his flesh. Meanwhile there is nothing he can do as his country succumbs to new delusions. His reflections paint the self-portrait of a man eager to crawl away from the past into love and desire, whose praises he sings and of whose fragility he is well aware.

A writer at the peak of his ability
Cobra

Edgard's life story spans a long passage of time: from his sunny childhood years and awakening sexuality, the trenches, the hospital and the deceptive peace of the interbellum, to the Blitz in England and the late love affairs. Erwin Mortier has written a story brimming with memories, letters and musings, with a variety of voices and addressees. The interplay of raw testimony and elegy, of sensuality and abstraction make ‘The Reflections’ an ambitiously conceived novel.

Beneath this stylistic tour de force lies a wealth of meaning. Mortier can recount the smallest details of the biggest history lessons with a sensitive, melancholic voice.

The subtlety with which Mortier lays out his narrative is breathtaking. Masterful. *****
De Standaard