Karel van het Reve
Karel van het Reve was a Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 writer, translator and literary historian, teaching and writing on Russian literature.

He was born in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 and was raised as a communist
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

. He lost his 'faith' in his twenties and became an active critic and opponent of the Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 regime. With his help, work of dissident Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Sakharov
Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. He earned renown as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the...

 was smuggled to the west, and his Alexander Herzen Foundation
Alexander Herzen Foundation
The Alexander Herzen Foundation was a non-profit foundation, legally established in 1969 in Amsterdam, dedicated to publish samizdat manuscripts from dissidents in the former Soviet Union in the original language or in translation...

 published dissident Soviet literature.

He is considered to be one of the finest Dutch essayists, his interests ranging from the fallacies of Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 to nude beach
Nude beach
A nude beach is a beach where users are legally at liberty to be nude. Sometimes the terms clothing-optional beach or free beach are used. Nude bathing is one of the most common forms of nudity in public. As beaches are usually on public lands, any member of the public is entitled to use the...

Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group...

. His works include a history of Russian literature
Russian literature
Russian literature refers to the literature of Russia or its émigrés, and to the Russian-language literature of several independent nations once a part of what was historically Russia or the Soviet Union...

, 2 novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

s and several collections of essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

s. In 1978 Karel van het Reve delivered the Huizinga Lecture
Huizinga Lecture
The Huizinga Lecture is a prestigious annual lecture in the Netherlands about a subject in the domains of cultural history or philosophy. The lecture is in honour of Johan Huizinga, a distinguished Dutch historian who worked in the first half of the 20th century...

, under the title: Literatuurwetenschap: het raadsel der onleesbaarheid (Literary studies. The enigma of unreadability).

His brother, Gerard Reve
Gerard Reve
Gerard Kornelis van het Reve was a Dutch writer. He adopted a shortened version of his name, Gerard Reve in 1973, and that is how he is known today. Together with Willem Frederik Hermans and Harry Mulisch, he is considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch post-war literature...

, was one of the great Dutch post-war prose writers.
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