Harry Mulisch

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Harry Mulisch
Harry Mulisch 2010.JPG
Portrait by Paul Levitton
BornHarry Kurt Victor Mulisch
(1927-07-29)29 July 1927
Haarlem, Netherlands
Died30 October 2010(2010-10-30) (aged 83)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Resting placeZorgvlied, Amsterdam, Netherlands
OccupationWriter
NationalityDutch
Period1952–2001
GenreNovels, plays, essays, poems
Notable worksThe Assault (1982)
The Discovery of Heaven (1992)
Notable awardsList
SpouseSjoerdje Woudenberg (m. 1971)
PartnerKitty Saal
ChildrenAnna (1971)
Frieda (1974)
Menzo (1992)

Signature

www.mulisch.nl
 
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Harry Mulisch
Harry Mulisch 2010.JPG
Portrait by Paul Levitton
BornHarry Kurt Victor Mulisch
(1927-07-29)29 July 1927
Haarlem, Netherlands
Died30 October 2010(2010-10-30) (aged 83)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Resting placeZorgvlied, Amsterdam, Netherlands
OccupationWriter
NationalityDutch
Period1952–2001
GenreNovels, plays, essays, poems
Notable worksThe Assault (1982)
The Discovery of Heaven (1992)
Notable awardsList
SpouseSjoerdje Woudenberg (m. 1971)
PartnerKitty Saal
ChildrenAnna (1971)
Frieda (1974)
Menzo (1992)

Signature

www.mulisch.nl

Harry Kurt Victor Mulisch About this sound pronunciation  (29 July 1927 – 30 October 2010)[1] was a Dutch writer. He wrote more than 80 novels, plays, essays, poems and philosophical reflections.[1] These have been translated into more than 30 languages.[2]

Along with Willem Frederik Hermans and Gerard Reve, Mulisch is considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch postwar literature. His novel The Assault became a 1986 film, which won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.[3] A 2007 poll revealed his 1992 novel The Discovery of Heaven as the "Best Dutch Book Ever".[4] He was regularly thought of as a possible future Nobel laureate.[4]

Life[edit]

Mulisch was born in Haarlem and lived in Amsterdam from 1958 until his death in 2010.[5] Mulisch's father was from Austria-Hungary and emigrated to the Netherlands after the First World War.[1] During the German occupation in World War II his father worked for a German bank, which also dealt with confiscated Jewish assets.[1] His mother, Alice Schwarz, was Jewish. Mulisch and his mother escaped transportation to a concentration camp thanks to Mulisch's father's collaboration with the Nazis, but his maternal grandmother died in a gas chamber.[1] Mulisch was mostly raised by his parents' housemaid, Frieda Falk.[1] Mulisch said of himself, he did not just write about World War II, he was WWII.[1]

Death[edit]

Mulisch died in 2010. His death occurred at his Amsterdam home and his family was with him at the time.[1][2] Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte described his death as "a loss for Dutch literature and the Netherlands".[4] Culture minister Halbe Zijlstra bemoaned the demise of the "Big Three" as Gerard Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans had already died.[4] Marlise Simons of The New York Times said his "gift for writing with clarity about moral and philosophical themes made him an enormously influential figure in the Netherlands and earned him recognition abroad".[1] The L Magazine's Mark Ashe quoted the American editions of his novels by referring to him as "Holland's Greatest Author" and "Holland's most important postwar writer".[6]

Mulisch was survived by his wife Kitty Saal, his daughters Frieda and Anna, granddaughters Naomi and Lucia Mulisch, and son Menzo.[7]

Works[edit]

Mulisch gained international recognition with the film The Assault (1986), based on his book of the same title (1982). It received an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best foreign movie and has been translated into more than twenty languages.

His novel The Discovery of Heaven (1992) is considered his masterpiece, it was voted “the best Dutch-language book ever” by Dutch readers in a 2007 newspaper poll.[1] “It is the book that shaped our generation; it made us love, even obsess, with reading,” said Peter-Paul Spanjaard, 32, a lawyer in Amsterdam at the time of Mulisch's death.[1] It was filmed in 2001 as The Discovery of Heaven by Jeroen Krabbé, starring Stephen Fry.

Among the many awards he received for individual works and his total body of work, the most important is the Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren (Prize of Dutch Literature, a lifetime achievement award) in 1995.[8]

Themes in his work[edit]

A frequent theme in his work is the Second World War. His father had worked for the Germans during the war and went to prison for three years afterwards. As the war spanned most of Mulisch's formative phase, it had a defining influence on his life and work. In 1963, he wrote a non-fiction work about the Eichmann case: Criminal Case 40/61. Major works set against the backdrop of the Second World War are De Aanslag (The Assault), Het stenen bruidsbed, and Siegfried, the latter an attempt to examine why so many Germans responded to Hitler's charisma[9]

Mulisch often incorporated ancient legends or myths in his writings, drawing on Greek mythology (e.g. in De Elementen), Jewish mysticism (in De ontdekking van de Hemel and De Procedure), well known urban legends and politics (Mulisch was politically left-wing, once signing a book "dedicated in admiration" to Fidel Castro).[2] Mulisch's works are widely read.

In 1984 he delivered the Huizinga Lecture in Leiden, The Netherlands, under the title: Het Ene (the unifying principle).[10]

Bibliography[edit]

Honours and awards[edit]

Honours[edit]

Awards[edit]

Planetoid[edit]

Mulisch was honored with a planetoid in his name on 12 October 2006 (see 10251 Mulisch)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Harry Mulisch, Dutch Novelist, Dies at 83", The New York Times, 31 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Dutch Jewish author Harry Mulisch dies". AFP. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  3. ^ "Dutch author Harry Mulisch dies". CBC News. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2010. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d "Leading Dutch writer Mulisch dies". Gulf Daily News. 1 November 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2010. 
  5. ^ Simons, Marlise (31 October 2010). "Harry Mulisch, Dutch Novelist, Dies at 83". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ "Harry Mulisch, Holland's Greatest Author, Died This Weekend". The L Magazine. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  7. ^ grandchildren Mulisch
  8. ^ "Writer Harry Mulisch dies at 83", BBC News.
  9. ^ Arts Journal website
  10. ^ http://www.hum.leiden.edu/history/huizinga-lezing/archief/archief-1.html

External links[edit]

Obituaries