Stay Tuned For The Assault

This post doesn’t live here anymore. It migrated to my other blog:

The Big No-No:  An Outsider on American Fascism,

where it resides under the title:

“Post Series on De aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch”

4 responses to “Stay Tuned For The Assault

  1. Michiel Horn

    De aanslag is not just one of Mulisch’s best novels, it is his best. I’ve read a number of his works, and most suffer, in my opinion anyway, from muddy thinking and a vague spirituality that sometimes descends into mumbo-jumbo. That’s certainly the case with the very ambitious De ontdekking van de hemel, translated as The Discovery of Heaven.

    By way of contrast, De aanslag is a taut, no-nonsense work that grips the reader from beginning to end. I’m looking forward to reading your comments.


    • I agree, about The Assault, anyway. But Mulisch uses so many images in the novel that are–or were in 1982–part of the Dutch collective memory and culture, that it’s not necessarily a very accessible book to outsiders. Add to that some very odd translation mistakes and it just doesn’t get the appreciation it deserves within the English language. I hope to add my humble contributions to remedy this.


  2. Patricia Lothrop

    For quite a few years I’ve taught De aanslag to very bright tenth-grade students, in an Honors World Literature course (in an elite prep school). Over those years I’ve done a lot of research, and in re-reading the novel connected many of the symbols and themes–and only now have discovered your blog (that would have saved me so much work, had it appeared in 2002!). I think the novel is wonderful: it works for my high-school students, but I myself have a deeper appreciation for Mulisch’s mastery every time I read it. Your corrections to the translation are VERY helpful, too. Thank you.


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