Joost de Vries

The Republic

A novel about history as entertainment and the hunt for the perfect enemy

The mysterious death of a prominent professor of Hitler Studies marks the start of a humorous and intellectually-challenging book, a combination of campus novel and spy thriller.

We follow the adventures of Friso de Vos, a young academic who, after the death of his legendary mentor, Josip Brik, becomes embroiled in a battle for the man’s legacy. His most important rival is a contemporary by the name of De Vries (!) who soon reveals himself to be a frightening doppelgŠänger.

With obvious pleasure and at a considerable pace, Joost de Vries creates an absurd academic universe in which scholars study the image of the Second World War in general and ‘things that look like Hitler’ in particular. At the same time he depicts an insecure young man trying to find his way in a dangerous world, who is forced by harsh experience to recognize that true love is the only armour.

His books are courageous puzzles on a grand scale, full of references to other books, yet original and infectious reflections of contemporary reality. His work is contemplative and delicate, pedantic and sophomoric, lucid and mysterious, but invariably written in a stimulating and fluent style.

Jury Charlotte Köhler Stipendium


Joost de Vries

Joost de Vries (b. 1983) studied journalism and history in Utrecht. Since 2007 he has been an editor and literary critic at De Groene Amsterdammer. He burst onto the Dutch literary scene with Clausewitz (2010), a biblio-thriller inspired by the work of one of his great heroes, Harry Mulisch. In…

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De republiek (2013). Fiction, 264 pages.
Words: 75,500



Herengracht 48
NL - 1015 BN Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 624 19 34

[email protected]

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