Let It Go: Niña Weijers’s Debut Novel and Understanding the Universe

0 0 1 ON JULY 9, 1975, the conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader set sail from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in a 13-foot sailboat named Ocean Wave , intent on crossing the Atlantic alone. The trip was to be the second part of a greater work, a triptych he called In Search of the Miraculous . Nine months later the Ocean Wave , crusted in barnacles and floating aft-up like a dabbling duck, was discovered by Spanish fishermen 150 nautical miles from the Irish coast. Ader’s body was never recovered. Just four years earlier in 1971, Ader created a video piece called Broken Fall (Organic) in which he can be seen hanging from a branch suspended above a river in the Dutch countryside. He hangs for a fitful two minutes, which are wrought with tension, until, finally (inevitably), he falls into the water. Ader and his work — his interest in water, falling, and disappearance — shadow Niña Weijers’s brilliant debut novel The Consequences (2014). The book, recently translated by Hester Velmans, opens with its own water-related disappearance: on February 11, 2012, Minnie Panis, the central character of the story, steps out onto the thawing ice of an Amsterdam canal; […]

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