The Hidden Source by Hella S. Haasse
From Amsterdam's Van Loon museum, Olivier Barrot presents Hella S. Haasse's book The Hidden Source, published in 1950 in the Netherlands, and just released by Actes Sud.
Helene Serafia Haasse, known as Hella S. Haasse, was born in Jakarta (Indonesia) in 1918. Daughter of the colonial high civil servant, she finally discovered her country of origin - the Netherlands - at the age of 20, when she went to study literature and dramatic arts in Amsterdam. She began to write novels and poetry very young. She published her first novel in 1948, Oeroeg, a work influenced by nostalgia for the lost paradise that for her was Indonesia, that became independent in 1945. Following that were other novels that dealt with the colonial past: The Lords of Tea (1992), Sleuteloog (2002).
The other theme of preference of Hella S. Haasse is the evolution of the European past, that she refers to in Mrs. Bentinck (1978) and In a dark wood wandering (1949), where she brought back to life the prince poet Charles of Orléans. Hella S. Haasse found a great success in the Netherlands and received numerous literary prizes there. Professor of literature at the University, she finished her career as a doctor honoris causa of the prestigious Utrecht University.
Her love for France, where she lived for several years, earned Hella S. Haasse the Légion D'Honneur.