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

But, down in its soul, it had never been conquered, though smiling in proud contemptuous resignation and bowing submissively beneath its fate. Couperus saw sex and human passion as one of the important driving forces of man. The powerful Dutch colonizer is unable to deal with the hidden force that is present in the background and is slowly causing damage. In The Hidden Force the decline and fall of the Dutch resident Van Oudyck is caused by his inability to see torce than his own Western rationalism.

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.

The lives of seemingly placid people in The Hague are marked by volcanic passions. Louis Couperus spent much of his younger life in the Dutch East Indies modern Indonesiaand many tbe 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….

The Hidden Force by Louis Couperus | : Books

The hidden force De stille kracht is a visionary novel that places western culture opposite eastern culture as being irreconcilable. Another character of interest is Eva Eldersma, who is married to a too hard-working assistant of Van Oudijck. She is amoral but not really or at least usually bad: The Hidden Force is a compelling read for anyone curious about the Dutch in Java or more broadly about forcs psychology of colonialism and the conflict of cultures.


No log coupeerus data? Despite some oddities, it seems quite adequate in this revised form. He merely felt, with that vague good nature that had settled on the entire family.

Some racial essentialism, evinced for example in ideas of mixed-race promiscuity, seems more dated now, but is not a central concern.

Couperus was married to his cousin, who helped him with his work and kept him company on his trips, but his work is full of undisguised homosexual emotions, especially in his novels that are set in Antiquity, like the madly decadent The mountain of light and The comedians But it takes a lot for her to finally complain: The Hidden Force is also much more than a book about the chasm between white Westerners and warm-blooded Orientals.

The Hidden Force – US. The divorced Constance van de Welcke, one of the main characters, is a formidable anti-Bovary; when she loses her illusions about social standing and romance, she has to start looking for something that can make her life useful again. 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.

The focal point is the tense relationship between two cultures that irreconcilably stand opposite each other. 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. Authors and translators Books. As a backdrop to his dramatic story about the demise of commissioner Van Oudijck, he quite literally used his own direct environment, the small community of Dutchmen in a far corner of the colony, but in the novel, that stuffy world acquires a deep, existential resonance that is present throughout his work: Louis Couperus The Hidden Force.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. Louis Couperus may be the greatest Dutch novelist in foorce, but during his lifetime, he was always an outsider. Hidedn his series of novels The books of small soulsa highlight in his oeuvre, he describes how a prestigious family from The Hague falls apart; the old, nineteenth-century certainties do not suffice anymore.


The hidden force is generally regarded as a poetic and mental power. Please send a request for log in data here. He commits violence on ordinary syntax and idiom, and always appears to do so with an almost irritating nonchalance. For 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.

And his sympathy for the hybrid, the impure and the ambiguous gave him a louie modern voice.

Hiddeen 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. The other is concealed, magical and mysterious. He is oblivious to the fact that his wife is having affairs with other men. The black magic, bird calls, vegetation, heat and the mysterious, hostile attitude of their Javanese subjects prove stronger than the cool power of the colonials.

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The Hidden Force: A Story of Modern Java by Louis Couperus

One is of a supernatural variety: And, indeed, The Hidden Force is a story about the futility and cost of colonialism. She has an affair with Addy. But literary fame hardly satisfied him. The complete review ‘s Review:. Nor has he an eye for local culture and traditions.