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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He sees himself as the representative of a superior European culture.

The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus | : Books

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. His life is dedicated completely to his mission: He addresses themes that far transcend the Dutch border, they regard the whole world. Die stille Kraft – Deutschland.

He is oblivious to the fact that his wife is having affairs with other men. This wear lluis tear literally takes place on stage: But it takes a lot for her to finally complain: In the many journalistic serials he wrote about his 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.

All your civilization by which you propose to grow rich One is seemingly open, rational and bureaucratic. There’s also a ‘hidden force’ at work in the book — or several. It is extraordinary that this Dutch dandy, hkdden in the flowery language of fin-de-siecle decadence, should still sound so fresh. But when Van Oudijck dismisses a local regent for misconduct, mysterious things start to happen in his house and around him.

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. 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.

She has an affair with Addy. Divorced, he has four children from his first wife: The East Indies of his youth symbolize an overwhelming nature in which the fearful hiddrn becomes a stranger to himself. But, down in its soul, it had never been conquered, though smiling in proud contemptuous resignation and bowing submissively beneath its fate.


At the end of his life, he made a long, arduous journey to the Dutch East Indies, China and Japan as a special corce for a weekly magazine. Louis Couperus spent much of his younger life in the Dutch East Indies modern Indonesiaand many of his novels and stories are set either here, or in The Hague where he was born, though his work also contains impressions of Italy, Africa and China, the fruits of his tireless…. People who say farewell to old certainties and learn to deal with a new world full of questions and without answers.

Forxe novel … is surprisingly fresh and lively. Louis Couperus may be the greatest Dutch novelist in history, but during his lifetime, he was always an outsider. Her husband trusts and loves her completely; he doesn’t even consider for the longest time that she may be getting up to inappropriate things behind his forcd — though he is constantly getting letters denouncing her and accusing her of horrible things many of which she is, in fact, guilty ccouperus.

In the original Dutch, Couperus’s unorthodox syntax is replete with neologisms. The Hidden Force – Canada. The Hidden Force is set in Java aroundand centres around the family of Van Oudijck, the resident essentially the man in charge for the district of Labuwangi in the Dutch colony.

Eva, too, leaves Labuwangi — her husband having been more simply broken, coupersu 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 Dorce the rest, he was like a beautiful animal, degenerate in soul and brain, but degenerated to nothing, to one great nothing, to one great emptiness, while his body had become like a renewal of race, full of strength and beauty, while his marrow, his blood, his flesh, and his muscles had become one harmony of physical seductiveness, so perfectly and stupidly beautiful, that its harmony had for a woman an immediate appeal.

It makes him blind and deaf to the needs of his family. Indeed, Van Oudijck lives in blissful or willful ignorance of most of what is going on in his household: He produced novels and stories at a surprisingly fast pace and created a completely new world each and every time, sometimes naturalistic, sometimes historical or symbolic.

The big blow is the rainy and hot weather, which literally rots and destroys almost hirden — but the rot of course goes much further than the physical. Hjdden fact The Hidden Force is haunted by a force which is even more hidden.


He lives for his work. He is blind and deaf to the slumbering powers of the East Indian people and countryside.

The Hidden Force (Louis Couperus) – book review

In the soundtrack, western piano music is affected and discolored by eastern percussion and edited nature sounds. And his sympathy for the hybrid, the impure and the ambiguous gave him a peculiarly modern voice. Otto van Oudijck governs his province with vigour. The lives of seemingly placid people in The Hague are marked by volcanic passions. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

When he was forced to return to the Netherlands in due to the war, he discovered that he was a celebrated author.

The Hidden Force

Faced with 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. Behind the elegant facade of bourgeois civilization, there are emotions that are very human indeed: For the colony, which he wants to bring to a higher level.

The cultures remain irreconcilable, the colonial experiment doomed to failure. Coiperus that in his Introduction E.

She organises the residency’s social life Leonie abjuring her duties in that regardattempting to maintain European culture by putting on theatrical and musical events.

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. The Hidden Force is also much more than a book about the chasm between white Westerners and warm-blooded Orientals. Despite some oddities, it seems quite adequate in this revised form.

Couperus does occasionally get carried away, and a few of the ideas stray a bit too far, but his rich characterisation and the clever way he goes at presenting colonial degeneracy make The Hidden Force well worthwhile.