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A classic of magical realism, filmed by André Delvaux

The Train of Inertia

Johan Daisne

After a mysterious journey in a train populated with sleeping passengers, three train travellers find themselves in a strange, shadowy land, a timeless transition area, to which each responds in his own way.

They wander somewhere between life and death, not knowing where their journey will end. One of them ultimately returns to this world, where he later discovers that he has been involved in a train crash.

A superbly written novella in which the surreal is approached in a matter-of-fact, realist manner.
NDB Biblion

Although set in an increasing strange and unreal environment, the surreal is viewed with a sober, businesslike approach. The narrative pace is slow, but that does not detract from the tension or the reader’s involvement in the story.

In this book, Daisne attains a level of thought that can be found in few other authors. Dostoyevsky, for example. The book is therefore highly recommended to anyone who would like to glimpse deeper into the human soul.

The German translation of this book was released in 1968, together with the film. In 1973, a French translation of the story was produced under the same title as the film, ‘Un soir, un train’.

Daisne was primarily known as the father of magic realism in Dutch literature.
Het Nieuwsblad