Chapter 9: Siebenhaar 1927: Preface
Access the preface here and read it carefully. This is D.H. Lawrence’s preface, as mentioned before, but we will assume it reflects also the translator’s view of the original. This preface is a little longer than the other two documents. Still, there should be no need to print it out. We can again suffice with picking out the main ideas.
Consider the following.
1. Begin by looking at Lawrence’s comments about books with a purpose (‘tracts’, as he calls them) and what happens to them after a certain time. Note that he picks up Uncle Tom’s Cabin in this connection.
2. For Lawrence, Max Havelaar is not a tract but something very different. What?
3. Consider the other international writers he names in this connection. If you are familiar with Jean Paul, Mark Twain and, towards the end of the preface, Jonathan Swift and Nicolai Gogol, look them up in an encyclopedia. The main point is that Lawrence allies Multatuli not with Harriet Beecher Stowe (UncleTom’s Cabin) but places him in an altogether different lineage and genre.
4. Consider how Lawrence weighs the Javanese parts of the novel against the parts set in Holland. For Nahuijs 1868 the Javanese parts were the most significant. Incidentally, the ‘idyll of Saidyah and Adinda’ that Lawrence refers to is a story told in the Javanese part of the novel.
Now go to the Questions below.