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Causality and Coincidence in History, Historical Fiction and in The Assault

It has been argued that The Assault is not real historical fiction, since many of the events are determined by accident; however, this view denies that history is, in fact, a combination of causality and coincidence ... Read More
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Time Stands Still: The Petrifaction of Anton’s World in The Assault

The Assault by Harry Mulisch represents clearly two of the author's recurring themes: petrifaction and isolation. Everyone is alone in his own present. As long as he touches nothing, he is surrounded by the past, while he, in turn, is history to everyone else ... Read More
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Structure and Narration in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

The Assault by Harry Mulisch is structured like a Greek tragedy. Apart from the five episodes, it also has a prologue and epilogue, and Mulisch himself has commented on the exodus at the end, and the choir ... Read More
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The Time Capsule: An Introduction to the Concept of History in The Assault

In the winter of 1944-45, Anton reads a magazine article about a time capsule buried in 1938, to be unearthed six thousand years later. There's a lesson about history in the description of the contents of the capsule and what the reader knows about the events since 1938 ... Read More
Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

Post Series on De Aanslag: History and Time in The Assault by Harry Mulisch

De aanslag / The Assault by Harry Mulisch is a historical novel par excellence. It's historical fiction, it's meta fiction about history and writing about history, and Mulisch has incorporated historical events and people so realistically that some Belgian television people came looking for the exact location of the assault.  ... Read More