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Time Eternal in The Assault: Events Put in a Larger, Timeless Perspective

The tinkering with time and events in The Assault (see the previous post) leads us to what Harry Mulisch calls 'time eternal' -- the elements in his writing which put the historical events into a larger, more timeless perspective ... Read More
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Familiar Imagery from Dutch History, Culture and Politics in The Assault

Imagery of iconic people and events from Dutch history are interwoven in The Assault, as well as --then--current events. Two novels about resistance fighters, both based on true stories, had just been made into movies. Mulisch uses some of their most memorable images ... Read More
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The Changing Past: The Assault Is the History of an Incident

The narrator in The Assault by Harry Mulisch mentions that this is the history of an incident". Not history, consisting of a series of incidents will be described, but the history of an incident--an incident that changes over time.  ... 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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Paquette and the Nazis: or: Books and Babies, the Stuff of Nightmares

A random writing prompt: Write about being locked in a room with your greatest fear. I was reading The Hunchback of the Notre Dame while staying at my in-laws' with our baby. The nightmares I had from empathizing with Paquette were like being locked in a room with my greatest fear, I suppose ... Read More