The Roar of Morning Tip Marugg, Paul Vincent

The Margellos World Republic of Letters
Publication date:
20 Oct 2015
Yale University Press
144 pages: 197 x 127 x 11mm
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A new publication of a masterwork of Dutch Caribbean literature by Tip Marugg, “the hermit of Curaçao”

“Tip” Marugg’s The Roar of Morning has been widely praised as an intensely personal, often dreamlike literary masterpiece that balances Caribbean mysticism with the magical realism of Latin American fiction while reflecting the Calvinist sensibilities of the region’s Dutch colonial past.

The story begins on a tropical Antilles night. A man drinks and awaits the coming dawn with his dogs, thinking he might well commit suicide in “the roar of morning.” While contemplating his possible end, the events of his life on Curaçao and on mainland Venezuela come rushing back to him. Some memories are recent, others distant; all are tormented by the politics of a colonialist “gone native.” He recalls sickness and sexual awakening as well as personal encounters with the extraordinary and unexplained. As the day breaks, he has an apocalyptic vision of a great fire engulfing the entire South American continent. The countdown to Armageddon has begun, in a brilliantly dissolute narrative akin to Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano and the writings of Charles Bukowski.

Tip Marugg (1923–2006) was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, and wrote two earlier novels in Dutch: Weekendpelgrimage (Weekend Pilgrimage) and In de Straten van Tepalka. Paul Vincent has translated a wide variety of poetry, nonfiction and fiction from Dutch. In 2012 he was awarded the Vondel Translation Prize for his version of Louis Paul Boon’s My Little War.

“An interesting work of apocalyptic fiction . . . [with] a beautiful tension between activity and repose that builds throughout the novel . . . the dazzling, quite climactic final chapter seems completely appropriate.”—Michael Schapira, Full Stop

“Marugg’s febrile novella . . . culminate[s] in a spectacular finale . . . Throughout the nightlong monologue, there are sentences of compressed poetic power.”—Publishers Weekly

“Tip Marugg’s novel The Roar of Morning . . . conveys a lifetime of brooding on the beauty and desolations of life in the Caribbean.”—Ron Slate, On the Seawall

The Roar of Morning is a dark little novel, and a powerful short personal testament, inexorably moving towards a conclusion that, even as one can see it coming, manages to shock. A fine work.”—M.A. Orthofer, Complete Review