Mar 2, 2012
Multatuli on line in Dutch and in English
In Dutch it is great literature, and the translator Hubert Evans seems to have done well.
The translation was first published in 1904 and was converted by people working for Project Gutenberg to html, in one file, under the following link
This is a fine edition, first published in September 2009, but it's all in one html-file (but there are also other formats available if you follow the last link), that is 540 Kb. This may be convenient for some, but not for my site, so I have split it all up into the 33 chapters it consists of, plus some introductory files, that give Evans' introduction and the links to the chapters.
Incidentally, if you are interested in a scholarly edition, the one on Project Gutenberg is probably better than mine, because it contains a page record that I ripped out.
Indeed I may not make them, in English, having also other things to do for the site, while having little health, but what I do intend to do is to link in the parts of the Ideen of the Dutch version of the Walter Pieterse story that belong to the chapters in the English edition, and I may also add some more about Multatuli and the content of Walter Pieterse by way of introduction.
Hubert Evans skipped some and translated some freely, but he seems to have done a fine job - and Multatuli's Dutch is very difficult to translate well, while every translator must miss most of his assonances, and most of the special rhythm and liveliness his prose has in Dutch.
In any case: Multatuli was a great writer, and also an original and very courageous man, and the above translation is the best translation in English of work by Multatuli that I know of. It should give the interested reader a chance to see why I think so, and to read an interesting and amusing story about growing up in Amsterdam ca. 1810, if one was a boy, from a fairly poor Protestant family, while one was oneself extremely bright, inquisitive and high minded.
And by and large, the Multatuli-section on my sites are the most popular parts of my sites, and must have been pulling thousands of hits every day for at least 5 years now, which makes it more galling that absolutely no one in Holland links or mentions it's existence, that is, apart from mathematicians, probably because I have may have hurt some Dutch academics in Dutch literature whose meal ticket Multatuli's writings are, but who haven't done - in decades of tenure - a percentage for making Multatuli better or known or commenting sensibly and stylishly on his texts, of what I have done, without getting any pay, and without asking any pay.
And therefore, while absolutely no one ever wrote anything like my very extensive and very well written comments on Multatuli's Ideas (and I am Dutch, I am a psychologist, I am a philosopher: I should qualify, and indeed qualify better than a mere M.A. or Ph.D. in Dutch Studies), even so, or just because of that, as far as the Dutch academics in Dutch Studies are concerned, they follow the lead of their Labour Party paymasters: Pretend Maarten Maartensz never existed, never wrote, never acted courageously, never thought clearly - just ignore, neglect, do not answer, do not link, and pray collectively and individually that he dies soon, that till then he won't get any help in spite of being poor, in pain and an invalid, and see to it that his writings, if possible, disappear forever into bit hell as soon as he is dead.
Here is a partial explanation:
If you think that in the just linked text, from 2009, I sound angry, you are quite right, and I have very good reason to be so: Since the events in 1988 mentioned in it I have been in constant pain and my health has been much worse.
Then again: I did not write the present text to convince you of my point of view or to entice you to read more by me, but to draw your attention to
It is a great book by a great writer.
And in case the
following might move you: One of the few things Freud did not lie about and was not
mistaken about is that he too believed that Multatuli was a great
writer, and in fact he also seems to have "borrowed" from him, of
course without ever saying so, just as he "borrowed" the idea of the
unconscious from Leibniz or Von Hartmann.
Here is the summary of Chapter I - if that doesn't entice you, I don't know what would...