Willem Frederik Hermans (Amsterdamseptember 1, 1921 – april 27, Utrecht1995) was a Dutch writer of novels, novellas, stories, poetry, plays and screenplays, as well as essays, critiques and polemics. In addition, he was active as a photographer and creator of surrealist collages. Hermans earned a PhD cum laude in mathematics and Physics (1955, physical geography). He refused the p. c. Hooft award (1971), but accepted the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (1977), which he handed out by the Belgian King Baudouin received. Hakim is with Harry Mulisch and Gerard Reve counted among the big three, the three most important post-war Dutch authors.

As a student of the Barlaeusgymnasium worked at the school newspaper-Haji. Under the Occupation , he wrote both short stories and novels. The resistance novel the tears der Acacias appeared as a feuilleton in Criterion magazine (1946) and became at the appearance as book (1949) on a large scale and predominantly beneficial discussed, with the unique talent of the young author was recognized. A modest travel allowance won the classic war novel Hermans in 1950 for retaining House (1952).The publication of I have always right (novel, 1952) caused a process over insult to the Catholic people share. Paranoia (novellas, 1953) and a landing attempt on Newfoundland and other stories (short stories, 1957) confirmed Hermans ' reputation in literary circle. Found the experimental narrative God Conceivable God Imaginable(1956) a limited audience, national recognition acquired Hakim with the dark room of Damocles (novel, 1958), at appearance by many critics as a masterpiece hailed.

After concentrated Haji focuses more on his scientific work and wrote, among other things, the book Erosion (1960). Attending two scientific meetings, in northern Scandinavia (1960 and 1961) found a literary precipitation in Nooit meer slapen (novel, 1966), which is regarded as his best work. If he a sharp polemicist p argumentation to a great sense of humor and sarcasm: the popularity of Mandarins on sulphuric acid (polemic, 1964) survived the issues which were put to the jaw. Some essays from this years testified under more Hermans ' lasting interest in the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the Weinrebaffair (1969-1976) Haji unmasked the eponym as a war criminal whose rehabilitation should be prevented; the National Institute for war documentation settled the issue with a damning report for Weinreb. Also appeared Hermans ' last war novel, memories of a guardian angel (1971).

Hermans ' function to the University of Groningen was subject of an inquiry that vrijpleitte him of dereliction of duty; However, in 1973 he took dismissal and settled in Paris.The emigration coincided with a decrease in critical appreciation: the sequel to the God Imaginablethe Gospel of o. Dapper Dapper (1973), and Under professors (novel, 1975) popping his fame. The following years asked the critics themselves or Hakeem still could pick up his former level and accused him repetition, laziness and falling to the temptation on an easy way to make a lot of money. Also the unsubtle views from Hermans ' day sheets pieces could not count on overall rating, culminating in the fuss around his official visit to South Africa despite the cultural boycott against the apartheid regime. At the end of the 1980s, the rating again: A Saint of horlogerie (novel, 1987) was nominated for the AKO literature prize 1988. Au pair (1989) is Hermans ' last major novel and his only living in Paris plays. In 1991 established Hakim in Brussels. The book week gift In the mist of the shadow Empire (1993) is a recasting of a never published manuscript from-and about-the war. At the time of his death put Hakim the finishing touches to the short novel Rustling grit (1995), in line with the surrealism of on purpose and misunderstanding (1948).


[hide]*1 early life

Life Course[Edit]Edit

1921-1940: Youth[Edit]Edit

Willem Frederik Hermans was on Thursday 1 september 1921 born in the Dutch Reformed Diakonesseninrichting at the Overtoom in Amsterdam, where currently (at number 283) the rehabilitation centre is. [1From its birth until 1945 he lived with his parents in Amsterdam Oud-West and grew up as the youngest child of an Amsterdam teachers family, which has an older sister, Corry (1918-1940), counted.

Until 1929 the family lived to the brederodestraat 93 ensure a high, then they moved to nearby Eerste Helmersstraat 208 dwellers. [2Hermans visited the Pieter Langendijkschool (later called Annie M.G. Schmidt school) to the Pieter Langendijkstraat 44.. [2[3on this school plays the story ' manuscript in a clinic found ' (1944) from the beam Paranoia is wondering.

As a boy of ten had Hakeem some favorite books he read time and time again, with the main criterion the presence of Heroes where he could identify with it. [4at that time, there was a series of cheap booklets in a red paper tape, in which usually classics were retold for children. This las Haji Gulliver's travels, and he identified himself especially with Gulliver among the dwarfs. [5his eldest real favourite reading was an edit for children from Robinson Crusoe, that he reread hundreds of times. [5[6The Highflyers, Also about a boy who competed in a kite contest, children's author Leonard Roggeveen 's was a favorite. [7[6Except Roggeveen las Haji written works even more specifically for children, a youth feuilleton from an old weekly magazine (For 't youngsters) called Small causes, major consequences. [8]

A non-recognition-based, more mysterious enchantment went out of the story King Arthur and the Knights of the Table round, also in an edit for children. Retelling the story decades later still could not get without goose bumps Hermans. [8Hakim called this "the most significant youth therefore book I have read. ' [7[6]

Lecture of Woutertje Pieterse[Edit]Edit

A little later, at the age of twelve, made Haley Woutertje Pietersewith Multatuli's knowledge, on a sleepover at an uncle who collected works of Multatuli possessed. Hakim then had to go to bed early, but read in bed with a flashlight. [9the story brought a great mind drift about with him, which again self-recognition was instrumental in the story about an Amsterdam school boy who met little understanding or sympathy, incessantly by his mother reprimanded was treated by his older brother, haughty Stoffel, for crazy worn by the schoolmaster, uitgekafferd because he raved about with a kind Knight novel. In addition, the language of this book correspond exactly to the language of Hermans ' dreaded grandmother, who, born in 1860, her childhood spent in the same neighbourhood as Woutertje his. [10the writings and person of Multatuli would remain a lifelong interest: one month before his death, Hakim still in public on the occasion of the completion of Multatuli's collected works.

Engineer (1933-1940)[Edit]Edit

After the elementary school education at the Barlaeus Gymnasium followed Hakim (1933-1940), where he remained seated in the third grade (1936).

At the age of 13, he began on twelve-, interest in the natural sciences to develop. During summer vacations, he collected shells and stones and are reading material consisted mainly of more or less popular scientific books and biographies of people like Edison. Also made a big impression crucibles. Life and works of the great chemists (Leopold, 1931), the Dutch translation of Bernard Jaffes Crucibles. The Story of Chemistry, a popular history of the chemical sciences. [11]

In the second class were in biology the monotremes , but Hakeem got no answer to the question of how human reproduction works. His parents also gave no information, so he notified himself on the basis of the encyclopedia in the public reading room. [12]

After he was stuck in 1936, Haji began writing. That same year the school was six hundred years and was Antigone of Sophocles staged. Hakim himself had a small role, but the piece made a huge impression on him and has ' a very big hit to my literary development given. ' [13]

Hermans ' reading of 1936 until the war included Multatuli, Slauerhoff, Von Kleist, Nietzsche (Also sprach Zarathustra), Céline, Freud (translation of those Psychopathologie des Alltagslebens), Kafka and Schopenhauer. At the age of 16 he held at school a lecture on Thomas Mann 's Buddenbrooks and in 1938 about Kafka's Der Prozess. [14In the sixth grade he read for the first time a novel in French, Le rouge et le noir by Stendhal. [15]

In december 1938, he wrote the story ' Inventor ', making him the first prize of a drafting contest organized by Disciplina Vitae Scipio, the literary Association of the Barlaeus. [16Hakim sent the story on to all kinds of magazines that he knew of the read Home Portfolio: first to Large Netherlands, then to the Guide, eventually to the Algemeen Handelsblad, where it remained another two months are. On 6 april 1940 it was printed under the title ' and yet ... the machine was good. ' [17this story is Hermans ' literary debut. [18]

In the years 1939-1940 he published in the school newspaper next to stories and poems also essays, on, among other things, Slauerhoff, Van Deyssel, Multatuli and Poe. [19]

1940-1945: during the occupation time[Edit]Edit

In september 1940 began a study in social geography to Hermans to the Municipality University, but in 1941 he switched to physical geography. [19his father told him nothing could, that he should appear more on his sister. That is why he hated her. His sister would, however, only 21 years old. When Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, she and her cousin Piet Blind committed, with whom she had a secret relationship,suicide. Hakim was then eighteen, and at that time ended his youth. Also in other respects changed his life. The death of his sister also marked another point: the Second World War.

On 9 april 1943 received his baccalaurateHermans. He had to discontinue his studies when the occupying forces that same year also the loyalty Declaration of students went requirements and Hakeem not signed. [19]

In the period that the invasion of Normandy took place (June 6, 1944), was the first issue of literary magazine founded Stage prepared. When the second song was out, was arrested during a RAID and Gerrit Meinsma Editor to a labor camp in Drenthe transferred to to carry out forced labour. Because girls were admitted within the enclosed area, brought him a fellow editor Corrie van der North ladies wig and clothes.Flirting to the German soldiers cycled Meinsma out of the gate, nagefloten by the Germans. Apparently Haley heard this adventure, because such attention of soldiers also attracts Osewoudt in the dark room of Damocles when he dressed up as a nurse goes. [20]


In these years he published nothing, but wrote the stories in 1941 though: ' A emancipation ', on the basis of which Publisher Meulenhoff with Haji an option contract closed to him after the liberation to be able to give out, and ' Atonal '. In 1942 there were ' Loo-Lee ' and ' Tezaam ' to Ostend, in 1943 ' electrotherapy ' and ' Inferno '. [19because of the cessation of his studies he got more time to write and undertaken some novels, of which only Conserve was published. By Cascades and sewers appeared almost half a century only a fragment, found in the last smoker (1991). [21In the spring of 1944 was born the Unsuspecting terrornovel, the first work in which Hakeem the resistance theme treated. [21Only fifty years later this work in edited form still appeared as means In the mist of the shadow Empire. Hermans also manufactured at this time still a comedy, Model prison, which also remained unpublished. [22]

In the summer of 1944 published his poetry book, Hermans clandestine cushion by a rag of words (JS 1). [23]

Hakim and the resistance[Edit]Edit

Itself Hermans was not involved in the resistance, but his friend Bram Kuiper though. His brother Sape committed the murder in Unsuspecting terror and so is described in means, namely on a dentist whose was said that those Jews made. Sape Cooper was arrested and executed, a fate that eventually his brother Bram Conference was. [24' for which he was seized, "said Haley," I do not know exactly. Yes god, he has done everything, Jews all, false passports and so, helped on a very poor amateurish way. That Kuipers chatted about that, who told to everyone what they did. ' [25the lack of professionalism of the resistance would still describe Hermans. Hakim was not specifically named-with one-man who for him the type of resistance man was parodied him strongly in the figure, by Pamela from the tears of Acacias. Haley: ' it was pretty dangerous work what that man did (...) He was arrested and has been sitting three months in the prison. (...) But yes, this guy was even though this kind of pathological liar. I went somewhere with him, then he went a beer and said to the waiter, let me say he was not served quickly enough: "you know that I pass from the prison come?" And things like that, Yes. It's all impossible. ' [26]

Underground publication in Parade of the prophets (1944)[Edit]Edit

Editorial Secretary Ad. vine of the underground literary magazine of Utrecht Parade of the prophets heard via Charles b. Timmer of Hermans ' existence and pointed out to him that editor Jan Praas on when visiting Timmer got some verses of Hakim for inspection. Praas wrote Hermans on 15 July 1944 a letter about inclusion in the magazine and sent him the laatstverschenen episode of it. On 11 August wrote Haley an enthusiastic letter back: ' your investigations led him to the other numbers I will follow under loud handclaps and when they are crowned with good results, you can, when you want, come see me jumping from enthusiasm. ' [27three weeks later, in early september, the editors with some employees went on sailing camp at the Loosdrecht Lakes, among the only four participants also Hermans. The Sunday of that weekend, Brussels was released, a day later of Antwerp, with the result that on the radio the wildest rumours did. ' towards the end, ' remembered Hakim later on the closing at Breukelen, ' there was a company of SS, totally demoralized, with tanks and trucks and there they had written on it: "Heim zur Mutti". I see it still there on it. Well, we laugh of course. Good riddance. ' [28in late August/early september 1944 came the double number 5-6 from the first four poems of Hermans, ' Robinson '.


Robinson Gifts remain ineffective Toovermiddelen forsake Women are not to genaken How than the slow heart to help, To call sleep, tears stop bleeding? One can own hands pillow, Appease In a hammock made herself, Liedren itself to own stunning.[28]


Jan Palmer wrote in the introduction to the song that manages to infuse Hermans ' his verses by a direct incitement of the mind, leading in an apocalyptic problems. (...) Always finds its irrational fantasy starting point in reality '. [29Hermans, not happy with such guidance, wrote on 11 december 1944 to Ad. Vine: ' I Had known in advance that would appear in the poetry number one essay, which communicates something about my work, then I would prefer (...) that have prevented. I like this wederzijdsche opkammerij a bit overdone and believe that one does better to work first and only later, by others, to write the literature history. Literature historians have been making errors enough. ' [30remarkable about the protest is that Hakeem just after the liberation in a Brussels newspaper would publish an article in which he figured himself to the irrational fantasists.

In the Hunger winter came Hakim nothing except tobacco and matches. The worst deprivation was not lack of food but to freedom of movement. [31]

1945-1958: the road to recognition[Edit]Edit

Immediately after the war stayed Haji several months in Brussels. On 28 August 1945 it published the new standard Brussels newspaper his article ' New figures in the Dutch literature ', in which Haji, since in the new generation of writers ' rational ' realists ' and ' irrational fantasists. He described his own soon to be released book of poetry only in 1946, Horror Coelithat would come true, as ' strong irrational tinted '. [32Between Hermans ' characterisation of his own work and the way Jan Praas his poetry had introduced in Parade of the prophets , there is a big deal. That magazine was with some other merged to form the Columbus, a new magazine, whose editors devised a getaway bringing together staff: the weekend of 6 and 7 October on Assumburg, a castle in use as a youth hostel near Heemskerk, are spent. Hakim made a big impression. "He was in our eyes much further than we do, ' says employee Jan Vermeulen, ' because we were all rather brave, civil little boys. We looked very against him, when all. '[33That did not apply for any available. at night went Hermans and some others with alcohol and erotic adventures in the main to the dorm for the girls and made there for the necessary panic. Hakeem did a random, also present with a poet married Lady a ' less Honorable ' proposal, which thereupon became so angry that they the Inn father warned: the next day claimed the Trooper Hakim along for interrogation. [34]

Editor of Criterion (1946-1948)[Edit]Edit

After the liberation of the pen to life, tried Hakeem no simple matter in that subsidieloze time. He was closely involved in the monthly literary journal Criterion and was happy when Adriaan Morriën editor invited him to join in July 1946 the editors, because this would mean a small but steady income. [35Hakim after the liberation had a large stock during the occupation time written manuscripts. To the thirteenth episode (October 1946) he carried the essay ' Julie ' Chirping at, a creed of the new editor.

[3] I don't like it, consider me a scripture that as a personal insult. Without the special my belief of what I am devoted to good, beautiful or where to violate, please, does it do that in the meantime anyway.One thing they must disclose their ideas to the printing press, never forget: that everyone, famous or not, challenge or contradiction to acclaim. Who does not dare carry that responsibility, his manuscripts are in his desk drawer rather late.(...) There are two types of people: the smiling pessimists and the evil optimists. The first kind is always right. This is not a rating, but an observation.Laughter is the break-through movement with which one corrupted spiritual food emissions. The insult someone affected by a bad poem or a novel, can he only idiotic forget when he has laughed. [36

— Julie ' Biting '


In this essay, pleaded Haji according to C ' for an uncompromising attitude to the contemporary literature. The friendship with other authors he described as a great danger for each independent writing. ' [37]

In addition to the editors existed late 1946 and Hakim also Morriën from Adriaan van der Veen and Arthur the lawyer of Rantwijk. [38]

Conserve (1947)[Edit]Edit

Haji wrote his first novel In 1943 Conserve (1947), which is largely set in the United States of America, among the Mormons in Salt Lake City(1947). In the October issue of Criterion published some excerpts, 1945 chosen by Adriaan Morriën. On 11 december the watchword discussed this song and called Hermans ' prose ' a surprise and does desire for further acquaintance with his work. ' [39Then offered Hakim the script atContact to publishing house, however, that the story is ' too negative ' was made. Yet appeared a portion in the June issue of the 1946 issued by Contact and from the occupation derived Prologuemagazine. The editing was excited, as it turns out the so-called ' circulation-envelope ', in which the novel was sent to the editors, who wrote their comments on the envelope: which make it clear that Hakeem much impressed, that the novel ' importance as many safeguards for Hermans ' writer ' contained and that Hermans ' one of the most promising prose writers ' was. [40then that number of Prologue first appeared, it was already known that would appear by uitgeverij Conserve W.L. Salm & co.

On purpose and misunderstanding (1948)[Edit]Edit

Also in 1947, in Compass der Nederlandse letterkunde announced the title of Haji Praelogica ,[41that the following year at publishing house J.M. Meulenhoff appeared under the changed title on purpose and misunderstanding (novellas, 1948). The bundle led off with the story ' electrotherapy ', whereby readers immediately experienced a polemical attitude of Haji: on the first pages of the story is a satire on the naturalistic novel, because there is unreliable information provided on the hereditary factors of the protagonist. Other titles are ' Klondyke ' Atonal ' and ' Doctor, as well as shorter stories some of which only a few pages. It also includes A bundled Hermans ' oldest story, ' emancipation ', which dates back to 1941. This takes place in AleppoBasra and cities in Syriaand Iraq . As the original title indicated, attributes these early works itself through attention to irrational aspects and for the night side of existence. [42]

De tranen der Acacias (1946-1949)[Edit]Edit

Hakim worked after World War II participated in various literary magazines, especially Criterion and to Stage. In criteria published parts of his second novel the tears der Acacias (1949), which did stir a lot of dust because of the humiliating description of the resistance. [43these war novel describes the identity crisis of a young man, Arthur Muttah, those in the war grows up: both the political (opposition and treason) if the personal reality (father, mother, sister) occurs as opaque and not Arthur succeeds in a way. [44immediately upon publication the novel was widely discussed and predominantly beneficial, which Hermans ' unique talent is recognized. [45]

In Canada (1948)[Edit]Edit

In the second half of 1948 stayed Haji half a year in Canada, as Assistant to the controller active there as wood Charles b. Timmer. The literary fallout of his Canadian experiences is the short story ' a promising young man ', that about half of the short story collection a landing attempt on Newfoundland and other stories (1957). [46]

Publisher Vic caught in 1950 with an ambitious project of decades: the edition of the complete works of Multatuli. On the occasion of the launch appeared a little book with old and new reflections on Multatuli; new contributions include Willem Elsschots. Carmiggelt, and s. vestdijk. Hakim stressed in his contribution, ' pioneer in the vacuum ', that had been the first real Dutch writer Multatuli, without whom ' the literature in Netherlands something [would] that is not practiced here, such as sea fishing in the Alps or the coffee culture on Newfoundland. ' [47Hakim saw in Multatuli's evolution of letter writer to books writer inventing theschrijverzijn itself. ' [48Multatuli took writing more seriously than anyone had done that for him, by the will of any individual for individual, Dutchman, are equal to convince. [49In formulating what Multatuli's commitment in writing was, supplied Hermans barely disguised self-portrait:


I have been dealing with it for a long time to explain this riddle: how a man who was of the circles that make up the Dutch writer loose originates (extra earnings-seeking school masters or pastors) matter has come to expect some of the literature in the literature it has hoped, Multatuli see what they actually would belong to be, namely a heenreikend immediately and on all divisions communication device; an area where one can make himself to what one chooses to be, without (seemingly) required to keep account with others. [50


Also in 1950 put Hakim studies off of his physical geography study resumed in 1949. On 4 July 1950 trad Hermans in the marriage with a Mensendieck Emmy Meurs,-therapist of Surinamese descent. Geert van Oorschot Publisher acts as a witness. [46]

The essay phenomenology of the pin-up girl earned him the Essay Award of the city of Amsterdam for 1949 on.[46In september 1951 he travelled through Spain, to Madrid, Aranjuez, Seville, Granada, Tarragona.Some diary notes of the journey were later included in The sadistic universe (1964).

The process is over I have always right (1951-1952)[Edit]Edit

In the May-June issue 1951 by Stage appeared the first chapter of Hermans ' third novel I have always right. This novel also directs a political (Netherlands just after the Indonesian national revolution in Indonesia) with a psychological situation (sister figure). The theme is that of the germ in the braised genius and the futility of his rage: who's right, has nothing yet. [44]

On July 17, was ordered to seize the stage-episode because of possible intentional insult in the following passages in which Louis Stegman, the protagonist of the novel, the Word performs.

I-emesis on the lot, on you, on Sukarno, on the Queen, on everything. I is said to be on it, I is said to be (Stage, p. 201).
The Catholics! That is the most lewd, goofy, onderkruiperige, besodemieterde part of our people! But who sew away! That reproduce! Like rabbits, rats, fleas, lice. Who immigrate not! Who remain sit in Brabant and Limburg with pustules on their cheeks and rotten choosing the empty cachets gobble! (Stage, p. 202-203) [51]

In november I have always appeared as a book and on 31 december the Prosecutor decided to set up a preliminary enquiry against Hermans. On 20 March 1952 served for the Amsterdam District Court the trial of Hermans, who calls themselves a reason uttered. In the final paragraph stressed Hakeem how much the literature for him meant and he suggested her even above the law:

Since I am in the first place writer, I believe the literature, that my way of life and life is, by all means must protect against any attack on its development opportunities, the Netherlands may also be subject to the legislation of being and how these laws can be applied à la rigueur and explained. That they will be applied by you in such a way that the freedom of expression no inch of space left, I hope not to have to experience this. [51]

On 3 april followed acquittal[52], which statement on 18 december was ratified by a judgment of the Court of Justice. [53]

Keeping House (1952)[Edit]Edit


See retaining House (novel) for the main article on this topic.

Early 1952 appeared the novel keeping House, which already had submitted an earlier version in 1950 Hermans to compete for travel grants were awarded to men of letters. [54The I-Narrator is a partisan in the war that a safe haven is temporarily in a deserted villa. When a German regiment to billeting calls on, it goes for the son of the House out and offers hospitality. The Germans behave nicely and even play Beethoven on the piano. This heavenly period of rest is, however, not completely, because in the House a closed room is where the main character manages to get no access. When the homeowner and his wife returned report, he kills both of them. One day is, however, open the door of the room: indoor turn out to stand against all walls drawn up aquariums, with in between a grey nature of 96 who spends his life taking care of by himself over the decades cultivated tropical fish. The opening of the aquarium room means the end of the calm state because the partisans recapture the city, fall into the House and destroying everything. The main character is still trying in vain to bring the old man to the mind not a pro-German comments more to do, but the guy is hung, just like the German Colonel and the murdered woman. The I-figure throws the grenade that the building lay in ruins all the way.

The new life and the new identity that the main character during his stay is reserved through numerous allusions suggested if staying in the realm of the dead. The simplicity of the story is therefore deceptive.According to Raat is a ' extraordinarily complex, but admirable attaches structured short story ', which he characterizes as follows in his thesis: ' the story lends itself to an annotated Edition, in which sentence after sentence of commentary is to provide, often on two or more levels. [55at the time of R study this was ' by far ' Hermans ' most studied short story. The first consideration is by Kees Fens, which in 1963 an essay on the novel published in the magazine Merlyn. Fagan explained that all seemingly friendly elements in the novel reveal themselves in their contrary. At the beginning marks the I in passing that the plane tree outside him is reminiscent of a gallows; in the tree are eventually people hanged. The German Colonel is at the piano strings tied up and hung up. There appeared to be only a false order. [56]

Appointment at the University of Groningen (1952) and thesis (1955)[Edit]Edit

Per 1 October 1952 got Hermans appointment at the University of Groningen as Assistant to the Professor of H.J. Keuning to colleges and cartographymeteorology climatology to take care of. From 1957 also were colleges in soil science and geomorphology at. To Fokke Sierksma he wrote on 28 november 1953 about the restrictions which the science to his expression possibility is remarkable also that I imposed: ' but the natural sciences in the literature can count, but not vice versa. Science is but a part of me to the word, a very different personality. ' His lectures were thereby ' quite dry. My irony leaving me practically whole. ' [57]

He received his Ph.d. on 6 July 1955 with honors at the University of Amsterdam to doctor of mathematics and physics on the thesis Description et genèse des dépôts meubles de surface et du relief de l'Oesling, a geomorphological study on the relief in the Ösling (Luxembourg), with writer Gerard Reve and artist-pharmacist Oey C.j. Sit as paranymphs. [51]

As early as 1956 tried to strengthen the physical geography box Keuning professorship. The Groningen University administrators, however, went no further than a Research Group. Hakeem got this feature in 1958.In 1966 it was Wim Raff at Hermans as an Assistant appointed to tasks of him to take over. Said it was constantly thwarted by his Department of Hermans in Groningen. He didn't get the laboratory where he asked for, if only to give first-year students college for years and got no opportunity to do field work.

Paranoia (1953)[Edit]Edit

The Paranoia stories bundle contains the Novella retaining House ' manuscript found in a clinic, "in which Haley his experiences in elementary school in Amsterdam-West processed. The United States situated in theLotti Fuehrscheim contains the first mention of Wittgenstein in Hermans ' work. The main characters from the stories perish by their inability to distinguish between delusion and reality.

Stillborn child (1954)[Edit]Edit

Hermans ' wife gave birth on January 8, 1954 by a child, however, that death in the world came. The next day brought Hakim per letter to his publisher Vic report of the drama, in which condolences to his wife and dealing with his own grief to prevail fights:


Unfortunately yesterday afternoon that the childbirth not as prosperous with Emmys would go as we had hoped. She is then brought to a clinic, and under general anesthesia. But to our great sorrow was the child is not alive. It was a little boy, absolutely cool, the doctor does not understand that this has come. It's been a horrible day, I will not act in sinister details. I can tell how awful I find it difficult, especially for the Emmy.(...) Such an event is the worst example of a complete failure that lets think: first months of preparation, bowling etc., get everything. At last we talked more about almost anywhere else. And then she had to suffer so much pain-and all for nothing. I am, when the doctor had told me, hastily gone home to everything in the attic to stop road, before Emmy returned. (...) Although not optimistic by nature and almost always prepared for the worst, it is not so easy to wear. [58


In this period the dark room of Damocles Hermans to and in it he would set up a monument for the infant: in a clinic like Marianne Sain Osewoudts's child, stillborn. Dress up as a nurse Osewoudt comes on visit, expecting to have become father. When the truth is clear to him, he looks at the child-also a boy, also quite cool-carefully.


When the servant took off the lid of the casket. The child was below a thin blanket. It had a Camisole to ¾ sleeves. The little hands layers over each other. The nails on the fingers were dark brown, as the nail of someone who has his finger caught between a door. The face of the child was reminiscent of a young bird: the upper lip hung far over the lower lip back, making the mouth on an immature beak appeared. To the mouth corners sat a little dried blood.Probably to keep the mouth closed, there was a high pillow under the head so that it literally was whether the child lay on his nose to look. The eyes were closed in an expression of fathomless sadness, as if the child is still correct the opportunity was there to have that it would not sorrow of life. The head was pointed and angular in the Middle far in the ears. A subcutaneous hematoma colored forehead already largely black. Osewoudt's eyes full of tears, the environment became invisible shots if there is a thick plate iceglass for his head was held. [59


The God Imaginable (1956) to a landing attempt on Newfoundland (1957)[Edit]Edit

In 1955, son Ruprecht is born. In the same year published in brochure form two episodes of a book that was intended as a polemic feuilleton: mandarines in sulfuric acid. [51Other parts appeared in this period already in stage. In 1956 The Conceivable Conceivable God Godappeared. [60In 1957, Haley by the Stichting kunstenaarsverzet 1942-1945 awarded the Price of the Foundation artists ' resistance. Hakim refused to accept this price. In the same year appeared Three dramas, that in addition to edited versions of two thrillers, The leprosy victim realises of Molokaï and Hermans is been here, an entirely rewritten version of his debut Conserve (W.F. Hermans) contained. The same year, Hermans ' third collection of short stories, a landing attempt on Newfoundland and other stories, whose story ' the teddy bear ' this subject. However, half of the bundle is taken by the long Canadian short story ' a promising young man ': This contains ' plenty of easy recognizable allusions to people from the world of literature. ' [60thus, Otto Verbeek for Menno ter Braak and e. Beyaard Bailey for a. Roland Holst and Fokke SierksmaBralle Pikerma for. [60]

Dating from the 1950s most of the polemics and critical considerations that were recorded in Tangerines on sulphuric acid, a polemic that initially in 1956 would appear, but where no publisher wanted to car and eventually was issued in 1964 under its own management.

The dark room of Damocles (1958)[Edit]Edit


See the dark room of Damocles for the main article on this topic.

In 1958 appeared Hermans ' second war novel, the dark room of Damocles, in which main character, Henri Osewoudt, as the tobacconist resistance man is recruited by Dorbeck, which appearance are doppelganger is but in terms of personality contrasts with Osewoudt. Osewoudt carries out his commands blindly and believes to have secured a personality, but if after the war his doppelganger, Osewoudt his actions can not prove it is untraceable. He Is resistance hero or traitor? The novel can be read simultaneously in three ways: as an exciting war adventure, as a psychological story about the identity issue and as a philosophical novel in which the onkenbaarheid of reality manifests itself above all in the aspect that, as a result, the past unknowable. [44]

The novel was exceptionally favourable welcome to share in the criticism and brought Hakim national recognition. Different critics spoke of a masterpiece. [60the literary appreciation was accompanied by progressive insight in Hermans ' theme: ' There is growing understanding of the vision underlies reality Hermans ' work. ' [60J.J. Oversteegen discussed the novel in Netherlands Vrij of 13 december 1958 under the headline: 'the dark room of Damocles. Highlight in work of W.F. Hermans: a world of its own and its own language. ' Hermans ' breakthrough was a fact and in the following decades the novel extensively subject of academic considerations, more than once with the size of a book (you): in 1976, a particle from the Synthesis series for literary analyses to dedicated that three press obtained (Jackson 1983), in 1983 is the novel even subject of a Utrecht dissertation: w.h.m. Smulders, The literary deception in the darkroom of Damocles (HES Publishers, London), and thirteen years later held Marres (1996) in a book all previously published reflections critical against the light. The majority of human bondage-interpretation focuses on the question or has been only a illusion of Dorbeck Osewoudt or really existed, that is, as roman character. About the answer is to this day no consensus: most followers still has the possibility that the novel construction is dimensioned that the reader can't decipher the mystery.

1960-1971: Arrived JP[Edit]Edit

In 1960 appeared a scientific book, Erosion. In 1961 were Hermans and his publisher Vic Hermans in conflict and stepped over to The busy bee. His first publications were there three dramas (drama, 1962) and the ferocious walk (film scenario, 1962). The following year, Fons Rademakerswent ' film adaptation of the dark room of Damoclesas two drops of water, in Premiere. Hakim worked initially participated in the scenario, but could not condone the final result. [61]

In 1964 appeared regarding work: in own management the Tangerines on sulphuric acid (polemics) and at The busy bee The sadistic universe 1 (essays). The final part of the latest issue is Hermans ' first consideration of the Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Literary credo (1964)[Edit]Edit

In the short essay "Experimental novels ', also included in The sadistic universe 1, one can find the passage to which the history is entered as Hermans ' literary credo, namely his definition of the classic novel:


I mean a novel in which the theme is fully processed in a story, in which an idea is expressed by means of acts, in which the characters if need be rather personifications than psychological portraits. A novel in which everything that happens and everything what is described, is targeted; in which to speak, no Sparrow falls without a roof and in which this may have No effect, only when it has been the intention of the author, to argue that it has no consequence in his world if sparrows fall of roofs. But only then.


Via the Sparrow symbolizes the ruling on Matthew 10: 29, with which the writer is placed opposite his creation in the same way as God over creation.

From the fifth poëticaal still a significantly longer essay pressure took Hakeem on Unpleasant novel, ' characters ', in which he the coherence between its epistemological themes and its literature conception expounds. As the reality is unknowable and indescribable, so can a novel not realistic. Genres that pretend otherwise, if naturalism and realism, therefore, point Hermans. The true roman according to Hermans ismythical .

Nooit meer slapen (1966)[Edit]Edit


See Nooit meer slapen (novel) for the main article on this topic.

If Hermans ' best work is never sleep (1966) considered. [62Hermans ' first novel since the dark room of Damocles is set in the North of Norway (Finnmark), where Hakim in 1960 and 1961 a geographical Congress visited and trips made. [61also the main character, PhD student in the geology Alfred Issendorf, undertakes a scientific trip: a promotion-research on meteorites and meteorite craters. Initially defies Alfred the inhospitable landscape in a company of geologists, later splitting off, whereupon Alfred and his guide Arne Jordahl draw together. If they get the right direction go also disagreement on Alfred and his guide and is Alfred to fend for themselves. Alfred is the I-Narrator of the novel, which is set in the present tense. Like the previous novel Nooit meer slapen can also be read in three ways: as the report of a scientific expedition, as a psychological story of a young adult who wants to surpass his father and as a philosophical story in which the search for meteorites acts as a quest for the Holy Grail, which, however, only results in the realization that the unfathomable reality and allow no deeper understanding life. [44]

Alfred and the three stages of man[Edit]Edit

In Nooit meer slapen is a whole network of related motives for, including explorers, stones and the stone age, often in combination: the posterior part of the names see Wittgenstein, Livingstone (Explorer), andFlintstone (cartoon figure from the stone age). [63in part this creates a novel in which every detail is functional. In Chapter 7 a theory of three stages in which Alfred unfolds the history of humanity is to divide, which is important for the psychological aspect of the novel:


If you ask me there are three main stages in the history of man. In the first he knew his own reflection, nor an animal that knows. (...) One hundred percent subjective. An ' I ' that could draw up a "self" questions did not exist. Second stage: Narcissus discovered the mirror image. (...) For the first time sees ' I ' is ' self '. Psychology was at this stage a redundant science, because the man was for himself what he was, namely its mirror image. He could love or not, but he was not by itself betrayed. I and self were symmetrical, mirror each other, nothing more. Only the third stage have we gotten the final blow of the truth. The third stage begins with the invention of photography. (...) [T] he camera, we know, can not lie. And as you come over the years, through countless photos, find out that you are not yourself, usually not symmetrical with yourself, but that you spend most of your life in some strange incarnations exists for what you all responsibility of the hand would indicate if you could. The fear that other people see him as he is on those photos which he cannot endorse, that they may never see him as the mirror image of which he loves, has splintered the human individual to a group consisting of a general plus a gang mutinous soldiers exists. A I want to be-and something that a number of phases that I continuously lose weight. That is the third stage: the quite rare before doubting himself, blazes on to desperation.

The psychology comes to fruition. [64 — Alfred Issendorf


Alfred begins in the third stage, but ends up in the second as he lost his camera and Arne rakt is shorted out. This is referred to as symmetry between I and regression itself, but goes even further as his compass and so its mirror drop in a rock crevice. That makes him end up in the first stage, completely subjective: his conditions are so primitive as those of the first people he meets for the first time, his less and in harmony with nature. His solo journey is thus an illustration, or depiction, of the three stages. [65]

In America, Suriname and the Antilles[Edit]Edit

In January and February 1967 traveled to the West coast of the United States and Hermans visited Los Angeles and San Francisco, among others. Notes about this journey published in limited edition in the bookHollywood (1970). Hermans ' interest in Wittgenstein expressed itself once again, now in the pamphlet Wittgenstein in fashion, which title was extended in supplemented with reprints and not Kazemier. Also in that year, Hajj for the first time in ten years a collection of short stories, a prodigy or a total loss, in which autobiographical material was processed. As in Nooit meer slapen is in all four stories a I-Narrator to the word, while three of the four stories are also in the present. Other narrative prose from this period is not there, so that from this it can be inferred that this tell technique, in narrative prose ' with a strong reflective weft ', Hermans in the sixties deals. [66In January and February 1969 undertook a trip to America again, this time Hakeem South America, to give lectures on invitation in Suriname and the Antilles. The written record of his experiences is the last remainders tropical Netherlands (1969). That same year, Haji are Photo biography, a photo book that ends when his writing career begins. The Edition confirmed the status that Hakim meanwhile had reached: only in a writer with great prestige it can plan for such an autobiographical project coming on.

In 1971, to Hakim the p. c. Hooft award awarded. Piet English Minister of culture, recreation and social work, would in its initial letter to Hakim of 22 december 1972 leave have a typo: Hakim would not accommodateƒ 18,000,- may see but ƒ 8.000,-. In an excuse letter was Haji communicated the error. Hermans ' reply was on 12 January 1973 by NRC Handelsblad printed:


Excellence, cultural life is full of dangers and not easy. Not only is it not easy for a typist to make no typos, apparently it is even for a Minister not easy always to know exactly what he signs. One can hardly expect a writer particularly honored will feel when he is crowned by a Minister whose signature of one over the other in NLG 10,000 value drops. I have therefore decided not to accept price.With due reverence Willem Frederik Hermans


1970-1973: hassle and noise[Edit]Edit

Hakeem vs. Vic[Edit]Edit

On 16 september 1970 Hermans ' greatest conflict came to an end in the 1960s, that with its publisher Van Oorschot. Already in the fifties began to deteriorate, the relationship between author and writer because of bad criticisms for I have always right in Oorschots magazine's Libertinage and because of the investigation into the sale of welded by Hakim accountants the same novel. But to a boiling point it came then not.However, In 1961, when the Publisher was to the tears of Acacias in the cheap white elephant-series of the Publishing House to bring out. This took Hakeem not, because of the financial consequences and because the method of printing would make it impossible for him to revise his texts. The conflict continued throughout the Decade and led to different processes on a range of issues, from a decision of an Arbitration Commission made in 1970 to an end: the Publisher was welded a large amount to too low to meet calculated fees and also the right of the author to respect on revision of his works. [61the ruling meant for Haji hardly rest, because there had been a new conflict that would likewise long drag.

The Weinreb affair[Edit]Edit

Around the turn of the Decade began a discussion to development that history is entered as the Weinreb affair. Friedrich Weinreb published his memoirs In 1969: collaboration and resistance 1940-1945, edited byRenate Rubinstein and with an ' Afterthought ' of Aad Nuis. Hakim kept Weinreb in several very sharp polemical articles formulated for a perfidious con artist, while many leading intellectuals continued to choose the side of Weinreb. The energy that this has cost him said it sure cost multiple writing novels. In the end, he (also) here ' weather ' right. From an official report of the RIOD turned out indeed loved him for the crook where Hakim Weinreb.

Conflict at the University of Groningen[Edit]Edit

[20]The hallway of the House at number 86, Avenue Niel in Paris's 17th arrondissement where Hakim years lived and worked.

After allegations, inter alia, the then member of Parliament and the ARP-later Minister Jan de Koningthat Hermans all his Belles-Lettres spent time writing and thereby not to its actual teaching to forward would, a Commission was set up to examine this issue. The investigation pleaded Hakim largely free. Though the Commission the opinion Hakim because of the imbalances in the Subfaculty of geology. That happened in October 1972. The proportions were clearly better, although it turned out that Hakeem had suffered a lag in science. For Haji was the size now full and he resigned on 1 september 1973. It got him honorably granted. [67He established himself as a full-time writer in Paris.

1973-1991: Parisian[Edit]Edit

[21]Bronze portrait of W.F. Hermans, created by Sylvia Quiël. Location: Amsterdam Public Library

Hermans ' move to Paris coincides with a decrease in critical appreciation for his production. Especially novels as the Gospel of o. Dapper Dapper (1973) and Under professors(1975), a barely veiled roman à clef, by reviewers were less appreciated. [68at the beginning of the 1980s, asked the critics themselves still the same level or Hakeem took out as in his earlier work. Some of the accusations were dropping in repetition, and to resist the temptation to give in to laziness on easily way to make a lot of money. [69Also the unsubtle views in his essays cannot count on overall rating. [70]

The display of Hermans ' television play Periander (1974) by the VPRO, the author deep disappoint. [71the novel Under professors was the reason for the criticism to include Hermans ' departure from Groningen and the preceding struggles. In the afterword denies the fictional Prof. B.J.O. summer plague that it is a key novel is. One of the characters, the abject if average Drs. Tamstra, has a name which is similar to that of the Professor of economic and social geography r. Tamsma, that conflict played a role in the Groningen and Hermans ' a nail in our coffin ' mentioned. [71Between Hakeem and Groningen is fine. There followed another book in which he afrekende with the city of Groningen and the University there, From countless many millions (1981).

In the 1970s he studies with the award-winning translation of his Wittgenstein- Tractatus logico-philosophicus.

Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (1977)[Edit]Edit

In 1977 he received during a ceremony in the Royal Palace of Brussels from the hands of the Belgian King Baudouin the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren, to which was attached an amount of NLG 18.000,-. Hakim handed the Prince the first copy of a bibliophile design, special characters (publishing house Ziggurat, London 1977), a treatise on typewriters. [71]

Haji saw this as the most important and most honorable culmination of his work, especially since it is also a token of appreciation was in Belgium. As connoisseur and lover of the French language and culture he felt very much at home in the Burgundian Belgium.

New novellas[Edit]Edit

In an edition of 70 copies appeared the autobiographical short story death and lost (1980), in which the father is central, that with compassion was portrayed. In the early work was often the father a tyrant. [72Also appeared Filip's sonatine (1980), the first of a total of four novellas with uniform black covers. The others are Homme's cough (1981),Geyerstein's Dynamics (1982) and the Signet ring (1984). In this period the autobiographical novel yet published Hermans also why write? (1983).

Cultural boycott South Africa ignored (1983)[Edit]Edit

The Amsterdam City Government led by Ed van Thijn explained Hermans in 1986 to persona non grata, a treatment that the writer obviously hurt deeply. Hakeem had in 1983 a series of lectures given in South Africa, which was not appreciated by the South African author Breyten Breytenbach (but by his colleague André Brink). He was then at the hands of the anti-apartheid movement Netherlands action groups andKomitee Southern Africa placed on a black list of the United Nations, along with Gerard Reve and schlager singer Hein Simons (' Tara '). During an exhibition of Hermans ' photographic work in the Stedelijk Museum in 1986 reported a PvdA City Councillor that Hakim had given lectures in South Africa, after which Mayor and aldermen to the rigorous measure decided: Hakim had broken with its lectures the cultural boycott. Hermans, who always had rejected the apartheid and with a non-white was married, found that he was above such matters. However, this is not counted In the City Council politician Annemarie Grewel even suggested to all his books also but from the libraries of Amsterdam.

Hakim, however, the boycott held itself and he gave in January 1987 at the invitation of the Literary Activities Amsterdam yet a reading in the Office. However, there followed a bomb threat, which he left and will no longer showed in his native city.

In March 1985 appeared in command of the hive the love between man and cat on the occasion of the literary Books month. [73in accordance with the proverbial number of lives of a cat, the booklet nine chapters.

Another side of Hakim was his involvement in Multatuli and the Multatuli-Fellowship. From dissatisfaction with the bad text-editions of the Max Havelaar, he decided in 1987 to a photographic reprint of the fifth edition of this book from 1881, the ' Ausgabe letzter Hand '.

A Saint of horlogerie (1987)[Edit]Edit

The novel A Saint of horlogerie (1987) earned a nomination for the Hermans AKO literature prize 1988, which incidentally to Geerten Meijsing went.

Au pair (1989)[Edit]Edit

[22]W.F. Hermans in his study room in Paris (1977)

In 1989 his last major novel, published also his Haj only play in Paris: Au pair.

1991-1995: Brussels years[Edit]Edit

In 1991 Haji moved from Paris to Brussels. Since he and his wife in 1988 in their Parisian home were attacked by a man with an axe, they felt there no more pleasant.

Author of book week gift (1993)[Edit]Edit

In 1993, Hakim by D66-politician Ernst B invited in his native city of Amsterdam for the presentation of the book week gift written by him In the mist of the shadow Empire. He wrote that the municipality first then but even his status as a persona non grata and had to apologize. Several groups were for the lifting of the challenged decision-partly because of the fact that Apartheid was also in retreat-and this ruling was withdrawn against his person, which he came to Amsterdam.

Meeting with Willem-Alexander (1995)[Edit]Edit

In March 1995, on the occasion of the completion of Hermans on Multatuli's complete works. Hakim spoke a reading from and Olf Palmer took him off an interview. Crown Prince Willem-Alexander took the last parts officially and announced that he could be called again at the appearance of the collected works of Hakim. The magazine about Multatuli published a report of the event, including a photo on which Hermans and the Crown Prince in animated conversation to show up.

In dealing Hermans was usually not easy. Both himself as many of his novel had characteristics of a Misanthrope characters character. The title of one of his novels I have always right was applicable also to him personally. He drilled his opponents on unpleasant (but very amusing for spectators and rake) way into the ground. The fourth part of the c. Buddingh ' diary notes of a beautiful time to be later sabred down so hard, that he his Publisher only 16 years later, short for Hermans ' death and 10 years after Buddingh's death, published a next part. With Geert van Oorschot Publisher he has three lawsuits and for decades a-finned feud over relatively small sums of money waged. Yet his personal life are also very much Hermans. To his friends included the painter Carel Willink, the actress Sylvia Kristel and the writer Freddy de Vree.

His work consists mainly of novelsshort storiesessays and philosophical and scientific work. Also it made some plays and poems written. In addition, he enjoys some fame as a photographer and creator of collages.In 1957, he worked some time as an Assistant to the photographer Nico Jesse to gain experience in photography. Photographing and developing pictures was a lasting artistic activity. He had on his travels always a still camera on hand that he frequently used. In 1986 was made a fuss causing exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Queen, well situated. In 1994 he published a collection of photographs under the titleA photo from own box.

He was appointed in 1990 to honorary doctor of the University of Liège and in 1993 from the University of Pretoria.

From hobby collected Haji old typewriters, which were exhibited in his home. This collection has The Scryption, Museum for technology and design of Scripture and Office, got a permanent place in Tilburg.

Death (1995)[Edit]Edit

Lung cancer was found In March 1995. On 10 april, he was inducted into the Leopold Park clinic in Brussels for tests and a biopsy, in which diabetes was diagnosed with a damaged liver and lung emphysema. He was once again included the twentieth. His friend Freddy De Vree during sick visit signaled that a young nurse Haji counsel knew, unintentionally blushing to behind her ears, asking, ' Mister, are you Mr. Hakim of who we had to read books at school clean? ' [74]

Hermans was transferred to Utrecht on 24 april. On april 26, called the Vree him there and exchanged a few words about the weather, which in Utrecht was better than in Brussels. ' Then say, ' thus Hermans, ' if they ask why Hakeem to Utrecht is gone, the Sun that he was looking for. ' [75]

Willem Frederik Hermans died on Thursday 27 april 1995 in the Utrecht academic hospital. On May 1, he is in the same city on Daelwijck cremated.


The true problem is central, but this seemingly simple theme has many aspects and numerous implications. The following is the wording of Jackson (1985):

[23] If romantic rationalist, he sees two avenues that allow the man in the chaos of his world carrying out to act: reliable and verifiable statements he may only do so with the resources of the logic and the physical sciences; beyond in the philosophy, ethics, psychology, social science, in the are no guarantees; only in literature and art can be ' shown ' irrational means ' truths '. This position between (neo-) positivism and (neo-) romance keeps the recognition in the world of man largely unknowable (even the language is an unreliable instrument) and the universe can therefore be called sadistic because man has insufficient capability to understand its existence in it. Hermans ' characters are personifications of aspects of his worldview: they are lonely who misinterpret, their world is constantly in contact with other interpretations can do nothing meaningful, at the mercy of on purpose (the cheats by others), misunderstanding and chance; they fail, perish to the discrepancy between the world and their performances thereof. Finally, In this world, in which the forces of nature (power drift, aggressiveness) winning, is no place for concepts such as freedom and responsibility, nor for ethical idealism: in the jungle of human existence is a sacrifice for the cause of pointless. [76

— French A. Jackson


Dissertations about Hermans[Edit]Edit

  • Princess Henriette Maria rose, I and self. a survey after that vertellersrol to those three I-vertellings by W.F. Hermans. Pretoria 1975
  • Michel Dupuis, Unit and fragmentation of the I. An examination of themes, motifs and forms related to the problems of the individual in the narrative work of Willem Frederik Hermans. Heideland-Orbis Publishing House, 1976. Thesis Université Libre de Bruxelles. Supervisor: Prof. Jean Weisgerber.
  • W.h.m. Smulders, the literary deception in the darkroom of Damocles. HES Publishers, London, 1983. Thesis Utrecht University. Supervisor: J.J. Oversteegen.
  • Koen Vermeiren, Willem Frederik Hermans and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Analysis of a work of prose language plays-Willem Frederik Hermans, on the basis of the life form of the sadistic and chaotic universe. HES Publishers, 1986. [Promotion: 1984]. Dissertation University Of Antwerp. Supervisor: Prof. Paul Davidson.
  • G.F.H. Raat, the counterfeit world of Willem Frederik Hermans [topic: the collection of short stories, Paranoia.], home to the three canals, Amsterdam, 1985. Dissertation University Of Nijmegen. Supervisor: Prof. Kees Fens.
  • W.J. van Zyl, That handling of characters in W.F. Hermans se memories of a guardian angel. 1987. thesis University of Stellenbosch. Supervisor: Prof. h. van der Merwe Scholtz.
  • Willem Gerard Glaudemans. The myth of the second head. The literature views of W.F. Hermans, 1945-1964. 1990. thesis Utrecht University. Supervisor: Prof. A.L. Sötemann.
  • Baudoin Yans, The God Tricked Tricked The God. A scavenger hunt by W.F. Hermans ' philosophical universe. Leuven, Brussels, Éditions Nauwelaerts, Collège Érasme and 1992. Thesis Université de Louvain.Supervisor: Prof. R. Hakim.
  • Sonja Pos, Dorbeck is everything! Imitation as a key to several novels and stories by W.F. Hermans. Vossiuspers UvA, 2010. Dissertation UvA. Promoter: not stated.


In 1999, Jesus Villanueva, who had known well, the first biography of Haji: Haj, his time, his work, his life. On 27 april 2005, 10 years after Hakim died, the website of the Willem Frederik Hermans Institute opened.

Since 2000 obot Willem prepares a ' intellectual ' biography for. In 2011 the newspaper by the discovery of obot pulled out a file tag of the Nederlandsche Kultuurkamer, dated 8 september 1942, stating that on 31 August 1942 by a form of the Kultuurkamer Hermans is received. The contents of the form is not known. Of an enrollment of Hakeem or an admission to the Kultuurkamer is no evidence found. [77the Kultuurkamer was a pro-German institution in which all the literary men and artists had to register. The meaning of the file card, however, is unclear. [78]

In november 2013 appeared the first part of the biography of Willem obot: the abort artist (1921-1952). On 23 november 2013 published reviews in de Volkskrant , and NRC Handelsblad, which appreciated Otterspeers study with four stars from three up to five respectively. The standard on 29 november 2013 appreciated this first part with five stars out of five.

Complete Works[Edit]Edit

On 4 november 2005, part 1 of the complete works in the Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam offered to Prince Willem-Alexander. The complete works are delivered by the Huygens Institute in the Hague.

First sentences[Edit]Edit

In the novels and stories of W.F. Hermans is the first sentence often remarkable: powerful, intriguing and referring to the main theme. Hakim proposed much importance in the first sentence of a novel or story, with other writers. He has on January 18, 1987 at the festive reopening of the theatre De Balie in Amsterdam, at the initiative of the Foundation literary activities Amsterdam a lecture given about first sentences of novels. (audio file)

The first sentence of Au pair illustrates the critical attitude of Hajj:

The first Dutchmen to think, if they want to obtain something that their own country is not going to make it yourself is not, but to look for in foreign lands.

The opening sentence of his most widely read novel the dark room of Damocles is suggestive:

...For days he wandered around on his smooth, without drinks.

This also applies to the first sentence of I have always right, the novel that for large turmoil caused by the anti-Catholic passages:

"Because today is the last day, I will save you."

The first sentence of Nooit meer slapen is remarkable by its brevity and eloquence:

"The Porter is a handicapped."

And From countless millions of refers to an important nineteenth-century naturalistic novel by Marcellus Emantsa posthumous confession (1894):

"If Clemens came out of his bed in exceptional cases rather than Sita, he went to the kitchen to make tea and while he waited until the water boiled, he thought: I am actually a good person, that I its not toxic."

Content of his work[Edit]Edit

The work of Hakim can be divided into:

  1. Realistic novels, stories and novellas
  2. Surreal novels, stories and novellas
  3. Essays and miscellaneous articles: often strongly polemical in nature
  4. Scientific work as physical geographer
  5. Translations: among other Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1975)
  6. Poetry
  7. Stage Work
  8. Letters

Between are realistic and surreal prose is a transition area: in his realistic work sometimes unrealistic phenomena for "the truth" or remains unclear. Example of this are memories of a guardian angel (1970), where the Narrator alternating between an Angel and the devil is and the dark room of Damocles (1958), in which there are to this day believe is differed about whether the doppelganger Dorbeck now did or did not exist.This latter novel was directed by Fons Rademakers in 1963, starring as the title as two drops of Water.

Examples of surrealist novels are the God Conceivable Conceivable God (1956), the Gospel of o. Dapper Dapper (1973) and Rustling grit (1995).

Also dry humor and, particularly in the later work, caricatures come arranged in his books. Hakim was also a perfectionist: it went to him although the content, but the form was also very important. His style is (falsely) clear, accessible and powerful and he was constantly working on improving of new printing of his books.

A literary form that Haji very well controlled is the short storyKeeping House (1952) is the best known example. Through the chaos at the end of the second world war in an Eastern European seaside resort are the themes that occur elsewhere in the intensified work of the writer. Characteristic is here also that good and evil and civilized and uncivilized into each other or be reversed: the German officers turn out in a sense very civilised and the partisans violent and uncivilized.

The second world war until the early 1970s a major theme in his work, as with multiple writers of his generation. Remarkably, he has occupied and then hardly more with this theme has focused on the excesses of the sixties generation (including Under professors (1975), From countless many millions (1981) and angry letters of additional chart (1977)).

Characteristic of his fiction is that the novel characters invariably represent a certain vision of society and that virtually everything that happens has a function in the story, the Novella or novel. Not all the work of Hajj itself to this however, almost impossible requirement, but the tight structure of his novels and stories and references to historical-social phenomena are characteristic for most of his work. For example, in it he distinguished himself by Gerard Reve, a contemporary with whom he has been friends for some time and who always remained a great admirer of the books of Hermans. This is also evident from the exchange of letters between the two Shred this letter! I tell far too much (2008). On the other hand, had Hakeem, according to this exchange of letters, though sparsely, also admire the writing talent of Gerard Reve and he gave him practical tips for to improve that.



  • Cushion by a rag of words (poetry, 1944)
  • Demon of ivory (pseud. Fjodor Klondyke, 1945)
  • Leprosy victim realises of Molokaï (pseud. Fjodor Klondyke, 1945-1946)
  • Crime, the law (pseud. Fjodor Klondyke, 1945-1946)
  • Crime to the North Pole (pseud. Fjodor Klondyke, 1945-1948; dating uncertain)
  • Horror cœli (poetry, 1946)
  • Conserve (novel, 1947)
  • Hypnodrome (poetry, 1948)
  • On purpose and misunderstanding (short stories, 1948)
  • De tranen der Acacias (novel, 1949)
  • Phenomenology of the pin-up girl (essay, 1950)
  • I have always right (novel, 1951)
  • Keeping House (novel) 1951)
  • Paranoia (short stories, 1953)
  • The mandarins press (essays, 1955)
  • The conscience of the Groene Amsterdammer (essays, 1955)
  • The God Denkbaar Conceivable God (novel, 1956)
  • Three dramas (novel/short stories, 1957)
  • A landing attempt on Newfoundland and other stories (short stories, 1957)
  • The dark room of Damocles (novel, 1958)
  • Three dramas (drama, 1962)
  • The ferocious walk (film scenario, 1962)
  • Mandarins on sulphuric acid (essays, 1964)
  • The sadistic universe 1 (essays, 1964)
  • Black Market (collages, 1965)
  • Nooit meer slapen (novel, 1966)
  • A prodigy or a total loss (stories, 1967)
  • Wittgenstein in fashion (essay, 1967, later supplemented pressure under the title Wittgenstein in fashion and not Kazemier)
  • Remaining poems (poetry, 1968)
  • Preamble/manuscript found in a clinic (stories, 1968)
  • The Holy Maria Juana (poems, published under author name Luis Cimatarra with as a translator. W.F. Hermans; Luis Cimatarra is a pseud. by WFH, 1968)
  • Photo Biography (autobiography, 1969)
  • The leak in the eternity (1969)
  • The last remainders tropical Netherlands (travel Recruitment literature , 1969; see description)
  • Hollywood (travel notes, 1970)
  • The sadistic universe 2. By Wittgenstein to Weinreb (essays, 1970)
  • Memories of a guardian angel (novel, 1971)
  • King Kong (followed by some Netherlands not see on television, television play, 1972)
  • Halberds (Quotations from the work of Hermans, collected and introduced by French a. Janssen, 1972)
  • The Gospel of o. Dapper Dapper (novel, 1973)
  • Hundertwasser, one hundred and five and more (stories, 1973)
  • Meditations (under pseud. the writer, 1973)
  • Periander (play, 1974)
  • Machines in bikini (essays, 1974)
  • Under professors (novel, 1975)
  • Dinky toys (aphorisms, 1976)
  • The enigmatic Multatuli (biography, 1976)
  • Angry letters by additional map (columns, 1977)
  • Special characters (short story, 1977)
  • Wooden lions and Lions of gold (essays, 1979)
  • I don't wear a helmet with Crest (essays, 1979)
  • Creative Nihilism (interviews, assembled by Mark Jackson, 1979)
  • Death and lost (novel, 1980)
  • Filip's sonatine (novel, 1980)
  • Homme's cough (novel, 1980)
  • Five stories (stories, 1980)
  • Babu Bomba Are (under pseud. Sita by Exchange, 1981)
  • From countless many millions (novel, 1981) (Audio clip From countless many millions )
  • Carel Willink, The painting in a critical juncture (including an essay by Hakim: ' the long pants as a milestone in the culture '; essay of 1951), Amsterdam: Peter van der Velden 1981 (p. 61-85)
  • Geijerstein's Dynamics (novel, 1982)
  • Mandarins on sulfuric acid. Supplement (polemical pieces, 1983)
  • Klaas came not (essays, 1983)
  • Suid Africa (circulation 4 ex., printed by the Literary plumbers, 1983)
  • Why write (story, 1983) (Audio file why write )
  • The Signet ring (Novella, 1984)
  • The love between man and cat (essay, 1985)
  • Relics and documents (essay, 1985)
  • Calling (under pseud. Age additional chart, 1985)
  • Cascades and sewers (1986)
  • King, Well Situated (book, 1986)
  • The book of books, par excellence (essay, 1986) (Audio file the book of books of choice )
  • A Saint of horlogerie (novel, 1987)
  • Max Havelaar, initiated and explanatory notes provided by w. f. Hermans, (photographic reprint, 1987), annex to the second edition of the enigmatic Multatuli .
  • Oral Communications (lectures, 1987)
  • Dinky toys (aphorisms, 1988)
  • Surrounded By dangerous madmen (columns, 1988)
  • The typewriter gekkepraat muses (history of the typewriter, 1989)
  • Au pair (novel, 1989)
  • Wittgenstein (essays, 1990)
  • To Magnitogorsk (novel, 1990)
  • Vincent JP (essays, 1990)
  • Herding paradise. 40 collages of Willem Frederik Hermans (1991)
  • The last smoker (short stories, 1991)
  • Fish Guitar and banjo clocks (travel report, 1991)
  • In the mist of the shadow Empire (book week gift, 1993, later appeared as Madelon in the mist of the shadow Empire)
  • The potato of death (about the painter J.H. Magdy; reading, 1993)
  • Bad criticisms go never lost, good either, since short (speech and essay, 1993)
  • Four novellas (1993)
  • The onversleten Walker (1994)
  • A photo from own box (photos, 1994)
  • Malle Hugo. Admonitions and reflections (essays, 1994)
  • Rustling grit (novel, 1995)
  • They will sow acorns on my grave. Be retrieved talks with Willem Frederik Hermans, Interviewer:Jesus Villanueva, (1995)
  • Garden in Brussels (poems, 1996, illegal publication of on december 8, 1945 in the pioneer published poetry)
  • The great pity (collected short stories, 2002)
  • The recalcitrant sleeper (essays, 2004)
  • A serious researcher (2004)
  • Your friendship is truly priceless. Letters to Geert van Oorschot (Exchange of letters, 2004)
  • Richard Simmillion. An unfinished autobiography (autobiographical novellas, 2005)
  • Complete works 1. Novels. Conserve. The tears of Acacias (2005)
  • Complete works 7. Stories and novellas. On purpose and misunderstanding. Paranoia. A landing attempt on Newfoundland and other stories (2006)
  • Complete works 12. Regarding work. Angry letters of additional chart. Wooden lions and Lions of gold (2006)
  • Shred this letter! I tell far too many (Exchange of letters Gerard Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans, 2008)
  • Complete works 2. Novels. I have always right. The God Conceivable Conceivable God. Three dramas (2008)
  • Complete works 11. Regarding work. The sadistic universe 1. Annum veritatis. The last remainders tropical Netherlands. The sadistic universe 2. By Wittgenstein to Weinreb. Machines in bikini. Dinky Toys (2008)
  • Machines and emotions (Exchange of letters between Willem Frederik Hermans, Rudy kousbroekand Ethel Portnoy, 2009)
  • Complete works 13. Regarding work. I don't wear a helmet with Crest. Klaas did not come (2010)
  • Complete works 3. The dark room of Damocles. Nooit meer slapen (2010)
  • Complete works 14. Regarding work. The love between man and cat. Relics and documents. The book of books, par excellence. Oral notices. Surrounded by dangerous lunatics (2011)
  • Complete works 9. Poems (2011)
  • Complete works 15. Regarding work. The typewriter gekkepraat muses. Wittgenstein. Fish guitar and banjo clocks. Malle Hugo. Admonitions and reflections (2012)
  • Complete works 4. Novels. Memories of a guardian angel. The cloud of not knowing. The Gospel of o. Dapper Dapper (2012)
  • Complete works 5. Novels. Under professors. From countless many millions (2013)

Translations and professional literature[Edit]Edit

  • Willem Godschalk van FocquenbrochFocquenbroch. Anthology of his lyricism (ed. Willem Frederik Hermans, 1946)
  • J.B. PriestleySunlight on Saturday (TRANS. L.A. Witt, pseud. of WFH; 1947)
  • Description et genèse des dépôts meubles de surface et du relief de l'Oesling (dissertation, 1955)
  • Haroun Tazieff, Craters ablaze (TRANS. WFH, 1954)
  • Erosion (study book, 1960)
  • Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus (TRANS. WFH, 1975)
  • Henri Béraud, The agony of the fatso (TRANS. WFH, 1981)
  • Seven poems by O.V. l. Milosz (TRANS. WFH, 1981)

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