The Darkroom of Damocles

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Darkroom of Damocles
Author Willem Frederik Hermans
Original title De donkere kamer van Damokles
Translator Roy Edwards
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch
Publisher G. A. van Oorschot
Publication date
Published in English
Pages 335

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.[1]


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."[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Als twee druppels water". (in Dutch). Netherlands Film Festival. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 
  2. ^ Mukherjee, Neel (2007-09-13). "A Dutch classic to rival Camus". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-04-20. 


Textual Studies[edit]