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A Champion with a Cause? Conflicting Views on Multatuli
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A Champion with a Cause? Conflicting Views on Multatuli

(Hans van den Bergh) The Low Countries - 1996, № 4, pp. 80-90

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Multatuli's position as the most important, most up-to-date and most widely read author to come out of the Low Countries in the nineteenth century is beyond dispute. But in all other respects, Eduard Douwes Dekker (1820-1887), who at thirty-nine embarked on a writer' s career under the pseudonym Multatuli (= ‘I have suffered a great deal'), has always been the subject of fierce debates between his admirers and his critics. The author of this essay wants to look at three of the most remarkable conflicts surrounding him and if possible give an explanation for them. In his opinion, Multatuli emerges as a true champion of an anti-colonial cause that places him several decades ahead of his times. (with a translated extract from ‘Max Havelaar' by Multatuli)

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