Dutch Language Blog

More Harry Mulisch Posted by on Aug 27, 2015 in Culture

Harry Mulisch is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors of all time. His writing style is simply captivating without it being pompous or pretentious. In my opinion, Mulisch’s talent lies in his story-telling abilities: his plot is impeccably executed through his simple yet enrapturing writing. His books are the type you cannot put down. I can understand why he is considered one of the greatest Dutch writers.

Photograph by Blaues Sofa found in Flickr.com

Photograph by Blaues Sofa found in Flickr.com

The latest novel by Mulisch to captivate me is Siegfried. This novel is the story of the fictional Dutch author by the name of Rudolf Herter. Herter goes to Austria to promote his latest novel, and, in the meantime, is looking for a point of inspiration for his next novel. A historical character that puzzles Herter is undoubtedly Hitler. Herter yearns for a point in which to analyse Hitler that will lead to insight as to who this terrible and mysterious man was. In a TV interview, he mentions this idea to the reporter as a sort of brainstorming. Shortly after, Herter meets Falk and Julia, an elderly couple who will reveal a secret that will change the life of Herter: they were responsible for the care of Hitler’s and Eva Braun’s child.

Falk’s and Julia’s revelation of the deepest and darkest secret in history is more intriguing than one can imagine. The details they reveal to Herter are chilling even for a man like Hitler. Herter is disturbed and yet intrigued. He can finally understand this man with this information. But at what cost?

I will not spoil the novel because I really think it is one of those novels that has to be read because it needs to be felt. I know I sound a little dramatic, but those who enjoy the pleasure of reading will understand that some books are simply felt. My only disappointment with Siegfried is that it was too short. Compared to The Discovery of Heaven that wraps you up and immerses you in another world for pages and pages, Siegfried does it ever so abruptly.

While researching Mulisch for this post, I came across the following interview from 2013. What is your opinion on Mulisch’s work? Should he be among the best Dutch writers?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!