Rupert: A Confession


by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer

June 15, 2009
novel | hc | 130 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"

"Frenzied in its imagination, unusually spirited, beautifully lyrical and furthermore, unexpectedly intense when the hero’s sexual perversions hit the page. A pleasure to read." 
NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam)

Rupert has been accused of a terrible crime, and his imagined defense begins the night he met the love of his life, Mira. By turns shockingly honest, incredibly funny, and clearly unhinged, Rupert's defense includes rants about the properly formed insult and men who wear comfortable sweaters. It also visits the memory-sites of Rupert and Mira's short-lived affair: her apartment, their favorite cafés and restaurants, and the city's public squares.

With each story Rupert attaches to these places his defense becomes a little more outlandish, while he becomes increasingly convinced that his innocence is beyond doubt. When he reaches the end of his defense, delivering the decisive blow against his accusers and describing the scene of the crime, the full depth of Rupert's depravity is finally revealed.

Rupert: A Confession is a brilliantly composed monologue that fully exposes—despite the misdirection and bizarre revelations of its teller—the innermost workings of a confused mind. Recalling Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men,Rupert: A Confession is simultaneously offensive, funny, and compelling, and it serves as a perfect introduction to one of the most talented and controversial writers at work in the Netherlands today. 

Translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison


About the Author: Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer is a poet, novelist, literary critic, and former Ancient Greek scholar at Leiden University. The winner of numerous prizes—he's the only Dutch author to have won both of the most coveted debut poetry and prose prizes in the Netherlands—Pfeijffer is the editor of the literary journal De Revisor and founder and editor of the poetry journal AwaterRupert: A Confession is his first novel to be translated into English.

"Rupert is an astonishing work of art. Astonishing in its imaginative force, its adventurous concept and its just as daring denouement. . . . Phew, what language, what a book. Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer is a writer to cherish." 

"This novel belongs to the tradition of classical literature which is in principle self-referential. . . . Rupert is a playful, exceptionally witty, ironic variant of this." 
Telegraaf (Amsterdam)