Posts Tagged ‘mak’
I read Amsterdam: The Brief Life of a City by Geert Mak in English rather than in Dutch, it was recommended to me by my father as the translater had made a number of funny Dutchisms – literally translated Dutch idiom – in his translation from the original Dutch. The original title “Een kleine geschiedenis van Amsterdam” can be translated literally as “A small history of Amsterdam” or figuratively as “A brief history of Amsterdam”.
As an Amsterdammer living in the centre I know much about my city, but like many I don’t know the history of the all the great and less great people the streets in my city are named after. The mayors, the rich, the famous, less famous and the infamous are all discussed in this book, and their relationships to each other. Like one of the characters drawn by Rembrandt, Elsje Christiaens – an émigré having spend only 14 days in the city, who after possibly working as a prostitute was executed when one of her clients accused her of theft, and was left hanging on the banks of the IJ canal.
Filled with wonderful stories of Amsterdam this is a great read for visitors and natives.