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Harry Mulisch

Archibald Strohalm

On publication of his debut novel Archibald Strohalm in 1951, Harry Mulisch was immediately recognized as a great literary talent and a new voice in post-war Dutch literature. This highly imaginative story with its bizarre characters set the tone for Mulisch’s extraordinary career as an author. He distinguished himself in the midst of the prevailing literary realism by his abstract-realist style, which clearly had the capacity to speak to an international readership.

The novel can be seen as a declaration of principle concerning the rejuvenation of art and literature. The main character is an inconspicuous young man who finds himself daily annoyed by an elderly puppeteer and the sombre shows, inspired by Christianity, that he performs on the market square. Strohalm becomes convinced that he has enough talent to challenge the puppeteer with a stimulating tale that will set audiences thinking. His struggle to describe the fullness of life in all its complexity drives him insane, making him an object of ridicule. Strohalm comes to grief, but not before he has succeeded in exposing the narrow-mindedness of his fellow citizens.

Archibald Strohalm was an astonishing debut. Mulish later said that by writing it he freed himself from the fears and uncertainties that afflict any young artist. Self-assured and formidably productive, he developed a talent for making an irresistibly readable story bear the weight of primal myths, vital questions, literary references and philosophy, including the philosophy of science.

Simply a must.

Frankfurter Neue Presse

Vertalingen

Harry Mulisch

Harry Mulisch (1927-2010) debuteerde in 1951 met de novelle Tussen hamer en aambeeld, direct gevolgd door de roman archibald strohalm. Vanaf die tijd groeide zijn oeuvre aan tot elf romans, zes verhalenbundels, acht novellen, negen dichtbundels, zeven toneelstukken en vele essaybundels, pamfletten…

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Details

Archibald Strohalm (1951). Fictie, 304 pagina's.
Aantal woorden: 80.000
Oplage: 100.000

Publicaties

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