Free kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg. Van Oudijck is the commissioner of an East Javanese residency of the Dutch East Indies. Eerie, lush, psychologically acute, this Dutch masterpiece from (in a fine new translation by Paul Vincent) is one of the great novels of the.

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Couperus firmly believes that colonial rule only reaches the surface: Other characters are also well-drawn, including the empty vessel that is Addy: Please give your input here. For the colony, which he wants to bring to a higher level.

Book – The Hidden Force – Letterenfonds

But Couperus doesn’t go too far overboard with the supernatural and for the most part it is a believable touch, as the locals are also very superstitious. In the works of Couperus, The Hague symbolizes the social world that puts people in chains. Supernatural elements have a prominent place in The Hidden Force: Teixeira de Mattos’ translation revised and updated by Beekman — who notes: He wrote The hidden forceone of coupegus masterpieces, in only a few months, during a visit to his sister and her husband, who was a commissioner in Pasuruan on East Java.

Faced yhe their direct surroundings people only understand random scraps of an intangible whole, what they call life is nothing but a ripple in the pond of the world. A conflict with the local officers evokes forces that coupers too much for this colonial.

Couperus shows some of the cost to the local population, as the resident must also deal with the much-admired local nobility which is also tending towards degeneracy, helped along by alcoholism and a gambling habitbut it’s the failure of the colonialists themselves that is central. In particular, Van Oudijck’s psychological disintegration could as well be grounded in the breakup of his family as in douperus encounter with the inexplicable.

The complete review ‘s Review:. Details De stille kracht He slowly loses all of his certainties and all he holds dear.

The Hidden Force

The lives of seemingly placid people in The Hague are marked by volcanic passions. Couperus had extensive experience of Java and of the Netherlands Indies’ loui and civil service, and everything from his descriptions of the small town and rural landscapes to his analysis of the colonial bureaucracy carries conviction. He commits violence on ordinary syntax and idiom, and always appears to do so with an almost irritating nonchalance.


The “tropical sex” was controversial in the Netherlands in but is not at all explicit by modern standards.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. Why do we bring all the paraphernalia of our costly civilization with us, considering that it will never last?

His wife Leonie is a captivating but self-centred sybarite, whose lovers include Van Oudijck’s son by an earlier wife and a Eurasian youth with whom her step-daughter is infatuated. Couperus began his literary career with the novel Eline Coupedus which is set in The Hague. The cultures remain irreconcilable, the colonial experiment doomed to failure.

She is amoral but not really or at least usually forcs Like for so many authors during the nineteenth and twentieth century, Italy was the land of natural life to him; he saw it as his real homeland. Please send a request for log in data here. The powerful Dutch colonizer is unable to deal hiddne the hidden force that is present thd the background and is slowly causing damage.

But even Eva’s efforts only go so far, and she too is overwhelmed. He grew up in an environment of Dutch colonial governors and spent five years of his childhood in the Dutch East Indies, an experience that played a decisive role in his life as a writer.

Coupeus masterly novel about decay. Van Oudijck; unfortunately, Doddy fell for him at a very tender age and has pretty much wasted any opportunity she might have had such as going to school back in the Netherlands in pining for him. The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus. It is, but it is especially a power that is destructive.

His life is dedicated completely to his mission: The hidden force is not only one of the great masterpieces of Dutch literature, it is a world-class book with which Couperus proves he can effortlessly stand next to great contemporaries such as Emile Zola and Marcel Proust. But even in the resolution there are some nice touches, the catastrophe not quite complete but tied together well. One is seemingly open, rational and bureaucratic.


But literary fame hardly satisfied him. In a novel he wrote a few years later, set in The Hague, Old coueprus and the things that passhe uses a jealous murder from the youth of people who are now very old as an inducement to write about the mystery of passion. At the end of his life, he made a long, arduous journey to nidden Dutch East Indies, China and Japan as a special correspondent for a weekly magazine.

The Hidden Force has its tensions and dramas — a couperks between Van Oudijck and a drunken Javanese prince, Leonie’s encounter with spectral betel-spitting, and so forth — but it is largely driven by the struggles of the two central characters to build lives in a foreign land. The hidden force is an enthralling story about the misunderstandings and couerus between cultures, as well as between close relatives.

Divorced, he has four children from his first wife: What is left is a powerless western man in the Indonesian forest. He addresses themes that far transcend the Dutch border, they regard the whole world. Van Oudijck is a good administrator, handling some difficult situations well — yet even he is, by the end, a completely broken man. The Hidden Force is also much more than a book about the chasm between white Westerners and warm-blooded Orientals.

His insight into the tragedy of European colonialism made Couperus a great writer. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole.

This is a personal, moral challenge, but one that Couperus sets in its social and physical context.