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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The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus | : Books

But then he constantly gets letters denouncing most everyone Nor has he an eye for local culture and traditions. The hidden force is an enthralling story about the misunderstandings and incomprehension between cultures, as well as between close relatives.

She has no direct involvement in Van Oudijck’s domestic dramas, but offers an outsider’s perspective on those, and a different perspective on the challenges facing the Dutch in Java. They suffer, they are bored, and while they can get together for a good cause the larger picture is one of growing decay moral and otherwise. He wrote The hidden forceone of his masterpieces, in only a few months, during a visit to his sister and her husband, who was a commissioner in Pasuruan on East Java.

The Hidden Force

He is, however, oblivious to the “hidden forces” of Java, dismissing the mysticism of local prince Sunario as fanaticism. Her husband trusts and loves her completely; he doesn’t even consider for the longest forcr that she may be getting up to inappropriate things behind his back — though he is constantly getting letters denouncing her and accusing her of horrible things many of which she is, in fact, guilty of.


Eva, too, leaves Labuwangi — her husband having been more simply broken, by overwork — and on her way home visits Van Oudijck, who has once again latched onto a woman and makes do as best he can — a fitting scene showing what their world has come to The powerful Dutch colonizer is unable to deal with the hidden force that is present in the background and is slowly causing damage.

When he was forced to return to the Netherlands in due to the war, he discovered that he was a celebrated author. February External links: Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

Otto van Oudijck experiences this personally. One where fate strikes ruthlessly. The complete review ‘s Review:.

He decisively governs his district on Java. Behind the elegant facade of bourgeois civilization, there are emotions that are very human indeed: And it is all quite engagingly couperuz. In fact The Hidden Force is haunted by a force which is even more hidden. Divorced, he has four children from his first wife: Although the character of Orlando in the serials is deeply embedded in real facts and circumstances, it is probably about a great, but fictional love.

Louis Couperus may be the greatest Dutch novelist in history, but during his lifetime, he was always an outsider.

the hidden force

But Couperus doesn’t go too far overboard with the supernatural and flrce the most part it is a believable touch, as the locals are also very superstitious. For the colony, which he wants to bring to a higher level. Teixeira de Mattos’ translation revised and updated by Beekman — who notes: Note that in his Introduction E.


The other main character is Eva, the wife of the residency’s secretary. Couperus remained a restless writer throughout his life. He is also oblivious to what is happening in his own household. In the many journalistic serials coupefus wrote about forrce life in the South during the first decade of the twentieth century, he recreated himself as a wanderer, who experienced an intimate and ideal friendship with a young Italian businessman named Orlando.

But literary fame hardly satisfied him. The hidden force De stille kracht is a visionary novel that places western culture opposite eastern culture as being irreconcilable. 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.

The Hidden Force is a tragedy of colonialism essentially comtemporary with, and fully comparable to, the work of Joseph Conrad. In particular, Van Oudijck’s psychological disintegration could as well be grounded in the breakup of his family as in his encounter with the inexplicable. It is extraordinary that this Dutch dandy, writing in the flowery language of fin-de-siecle decadence, should still sound so fresh.

She has an affair with Addy. The tensions this produces steadily mount, to be brought to a head by the haunting of the house, which drives everyone except the stalwart commissioner away.

No log in data? It is, but it is especially a power that is destructive.