The Darkroom of Damocles
|Author||Willem Frederik Hermans|
|Original title||De donkere kamer van Damokles|
|Publisher||G. A. van Oorschot|
Published in English
The Darkroom of Damocles (Dutch: De donkere kamer van Damokles) is a war novel by the Dutch writer Willem Frederik Hermans, published in 1958. Osewoudt, an Amsterdam cigar store owner living under the Nazi occupation, makes his acquaintance with the mysterious Dorbeck, who claims to be involved in the Resistance movement. Dorbeck enlists Osewoudt for dangerous attacks on the Gestapo and Dutch Nazi collaborators. After the Nazi defeat Dorbeck has disappeared, though Osewoudt needs him to prove his involvement. An immediate success since it was first published, the novel has been printed in numerous editions and is one of the greatest World War II novels. The book has been translated into English twice, in 1962 by Roy Edwards, and again in 2007 by Ina Rilke. It was adapted into the 1963 film Like Two Drops of Water, directed by Fons Rademakers.
Neel Mukherjee of The Daily Telegraph wrote in 2007: "The novel, written in a spare, even desiccated style, becomes starkly existentialist, bringing to mind Camus and the Sartre of Les Chemins de la Liberté. Crackling with tension at the same time as a philosophical cynicism - or perhaps just an uninterested amorality - about motives and actions, this is an edgy, uneasy novel about the human condition, effortlessly disguised as a thriller."
- Frans A. Janssen en Sonja van Stek (in Dutch), Bibliographical Description of All Editions of The Darkroom of Damocles. In Frans A. Janssen en Sonja van Stek, Het bibliografische universum van Willem Frederik Hermans [The Bibliographical Universe of Willem Frederik Hermans]. Tweede, herziene en uitgebreide versie in samenwerking met Peter Kegel, Willem Frederik Hermans Instituut, 2005, 81-99.
- Editors of the Huygens Institute (in Dutch), Textual History, Adopted Readings and Emendations of The Darkroom of Damocles (1958)
- Frans A. Janssen (in Dutch) , On The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans. This book has chapters on Publication history, Plot Summary, Interpretation, Interpretations by Other Critics, The Doppelgänger Motif, Narrative Technique, Style and Structure, Reception. Uitgeverij De Arbeiderspers, Amsterdam 1983
- René Marres (in Dutch), , The Interpretation of The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans. Dimensie Boeken, Leiden 1996
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