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Louis Couperus
The Hague 10 June 1863 - De Steeg 16 July 1923 • Dutch novelist

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ON LOUIS COUPERUS' BOOKSHELF

War and Peace
Leo N. Tolstoy, (1864-1869)
This massive chronicle, to which Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) devoted five whole years shortly after his marriage, portrays Russian family life during and after the Napoleonic war.

Anna Karenina
Leo N. Tolstoy, 1877
Anna Karenina abandons her empty existence as a society wife and embarks on a doomed love affair with the passionate but emotionally bankrupt Vronsky.

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky, 1866
Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, commits a random murder without remorse or regret. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov finds the noose of his own guilt tightening around his neck.

Germinie Lacerteux
de gebroeders de Goncourt, 1864
The hideous depravities of the modern city corrupt and destroy healthy peasants.
The authors described Germinie Lacerteux as 'the first truly working-class novel'.

Thérčse Raquin
Émile Zola, 1867
Set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dingy haberdasher's shop in Paris, this novel tells of how the heroine and her lover kill her husband, but are subsequently haunted by visions of the dead man and prevented from enjoying the fruits of their crime.

[Het huis Lauernesse]
A.L.G. Bosboom-Touissant, 1840
A novel by A.L.G. Bosboom-Toussaint, who, in his youth, was a great fan of Couperus' work (see also Major Frank).

Major Frank
A.L.G. Bosboom-Touissant, 1874
A novel by A.L.G. Bosboom-Toussaint, who, in his youth, was a great fan of Couperus' work.

A Dog of Flanders
Ouida, 1872
The story of Nello, a poor Antwerp boy, and his faithful dog Patrache.

BOOKS BY LOUIS COUPERUS:

Old People and the Things that Pass
1906
'The Hague novels'
Three very old people are bound together by a secret, which they believe is known only to them. But unfortunately, this isn't the case.
WHAT TO READ AFTER OLD PEOPLE AND THE THINGS THAT PASS?

'CRIMES PASSIONNELS'
The Postman Always Rings Twice
James M. Cain, 1934
The torrid story of Frank Chambers, the amoral drifter, Cora, the sullen and brooding wife, and Nick Papadakis, the amiable but inconvenient husband, has become a classic of its kind, and established Cain as a major novelist with a spare and vital prose style and a bleak vision of America.

Lolita
Vladimir Nabokov, 1955
'in English'
The story of Humbert Humbert and his obsession with 12-year-old Dolores Haze. Determined to possess his 'Lolita' both carnally and artistically, Humbert embarks on a disastrous courtship that can only end in tragedy.

Two Women
Harry Mulisch, 1975
Lesbian relationship ends in murder (by doubly-deceived man) of one of the women.

HAUNTED BY THE PAST
The House of the Seven Gables
Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
The curse of Mathew Maule descends on seven generations of the inhabitants of an old New England house.

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925
In this novel Jay Gatsby' s destructive passion for Daisy Buchanan is played out against the background of Long Island high society. Viewed through the eyes of an outsider, Gatsby' s life is the story of a generation – glitz and glamour turning sour, and the high life turning to ashes.

Embers
Sándor Márai, 1942
At a castle in the Carpathian moutains, two men meet for the first time in 41 years, having spent their lives waiting for this moment. Decades earlier an event - something to do with a betrayal and a woman - led to the friends separation but as their lives draw to a close the truth is revealed.

World's End
T.C. Boyle, 1987
Haunted by the burden of his family' s traitorous past, woozy with pot, cheap wine and sex, disturbed by a frightening real encounter with some family ghosts, Walter Van Brunt is about to have a collision with history. It will lead Walter to search for his father.

THE DUTCH NATURALISTS
The Deeps of Deliverance
Frederik van Eeden, 1900
A woman who gives up a life of affluence to be with an artist is increasingly plagued by psychoses.

A Posthumous Confession
Marcellus Emants, 1894
A man of 'tainted stock' murders his wife and tells his life story.

[Een liefde]
Lodewijk van Deyssel, 1887
Psychology of a melancholy woman with a difficult love life.

Eline Vere
1889
The demise of an extremely sensitive and overly refined young woman in the upper-class milieu of nineteenth-century The Hague.
The Book of the Small Souls
1901
A penetrating analysis of the commercial and psychic unraveling of a prominent Amsterdam family.
The Hidden Force
1900
The decline and fall of the Dutchman Van Oudyck is caused by his inability to see further than his own Western rationalism: he is blind and deaf to the slumbering powers of the East Indian people and countryside.
[De berg van licht]
1906

[Iskander: de roman van Alexander den Groote]
1920

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