Between One Person
The dark side of a passionate lover
TussenEenPersoon, Esther Gerritsen’s first novel, is the oppressive monologue delivered by a woman to her boyfriend whom she has literally bound and gagged and takes place entirely in their home on the attic floor of a house from where they are supposed to be moving that day. The young woman has tied up her lover, laid him on the bed and started to talk to him. About herself, her family, their relationship.
She is neither defending nor attacking. She does not wish to harm him in any way. What she primarily wants is to regard him with new eyes – as a stranger would, as someone standing between her and herself. The very silent, helpless presence of her boyfriend prompts her into reflection.
What motivates her? She seems, in any event, to want to break radically with her present and her past, in which she is beginning to perceive her wish to converge with, to blend with her lover as constrictive. As she remarks, ‘I don’t want to become your habit’. Very likely that is her motivation, resistance to the power of the everyday, to the emptiness of routine gestures, to the tediousness of trivial actions – to the sense of drifting aimlessly with a tide of events without actually being part of them. She refuses to accept the erosion to which every love and every life is subject, with all the disastrous consequences that entails.
Poignant, with a good feeling for detail, Gerritsen describes the dark sides of a passionate love and the troubled spirit of a woman who refuses to accept the world as it is.