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Ik ben verslaafd aan boeken. Hieronder kan je mijn volledige lijst vinden van gelezen fictie-boeken die in mijn boekenkast. Van sommige boeken kan je zelfs een korte bespreking vinden.
Siegfried

Siegfried

Auteur

Harry Mulisch

Eerste Uitgave

2001

Uitgave

2002

Uitgeverij

De Bezige Bij

Vorm

roman

Taal

Nederlands

Bladzijden

213 bladzijden

Gelezen

2004-11-30

Score

8/10

Inhoud

'U heeft van Hitler willen winnen, door hem te begrijpen, conceptueel in de tang te nemen, zijn 'wezen' te benoemen en daarmee vast te spijkeren tegen de deuren van de hel. Dat is spelen met vuur, er hangt iets van een schroeilucht in uw boek, maar soms ook wordt het er plotseling ijskou, zoals in Germaanse sagen, wanneer de duivel zijn aanwezigheid voelbaar maakt.'
Job Cohen, Burgemeester van Amsterdam

Bespreking

A sinister study of a distraught mind

Rudolf Herter, a famous Dutch author, arrives in Vienna for a reading and some interviews. But what he thinks is yet another mission to promote his latest book turns out to be the start of a sinister quest. During a television interview, in a moment when he was out of his usual set of answers, he makes a statement that not only surprises his audience, but most of all himself: I want to catch Hitler and place him in such an environment that his true spirit is revealed. When an old couple offers to help him reach this singular goal, he gets an answer to a question that he was not prepared to ask.

With Siegfried Harry Mulisch wrote a very powerful and at the same time estranging novel. As one can imagine, a dive into the deranged mind of Adolf Hitler will not leave anyone undisturbed. But when that same experience leaves you with a discovery that is so horrible that it is better kept hidden from the public, its effect could be destructive. With a remarkable ease succeeds Mulisch in pulling the reader slowly into an idea that will spook the mind of any reader. The narrative is kept sober on purpose, as not to break the effect of its meaning.

Sadly enough, just at the time the story reaches its climax, Mulisch decides to open up his full vocabulary to describe what it "actually" all means. Apart from being quite incomprehensible to the normal reader, it turns out to be completely unnecessary page stuffing. I can understand that an intelligent author sometimes feels the need to show off with some very deep thoughts, but in this masterfully build-up plot it fits like the devil in a blue dress. If you look at it from another perspective it could even be interpreted as an insult to the reader, where the author takes the reader by the hand to explain some difficult concepts.

Apart from this let-down at the end Siegfried stay an intriguing study of a distraught mind that reads like a full fletched psychological thriller.