Vallende ouders / De gevarendriehoek
From the outset Albert Egberts is looking for a method to neutralise the crushing effect of the ravages of time. He wishes to compress ‘the broadness of life’, as many impressions as possible, into one moment. A determinant factor in the structure of the first volumes of the novel cycle De tandeloze tijd (The Toothless Time) is Egberts’ method of recollection. Starting in contemporary Amsterdam he plunges farther and farther back in time.
The focal point in Vallende ouders are his student days at Nijmegen and his youth at Geldrop that preceded them. His earliest recollections and childhood plus the early Nijmegen days are covered in De gevarendriehoek.
Volumes I and 2 are a most impressive blend of a Bildungsroman and a regional novel. Peculiar family incidents, sexual initiations, student parties, literally and figuratively falling parents: Egberts and his spiritual father succeed in evoking a rich, broad and greedily chronicled life not only of an individual but of a whole generation as well. One of workingclass children who themselves went to university and matured in the 70s, a time of material abundance and a paucity of ideals.