*English proposal + sample translation*
HIGHLIGHTED BY THE DUTCH FOUNDATION FOR LITERATURE
On the verge of the First World War, the paths of Dutch writer and utopian thinker Frederik van Eeden, German mystical philosopher Erich Gutkind and Serbian guru Dimitrije Mitrinović cross. Together, they call for the creation of a ‘blood bond of European geniuses.’ With their ambitious ideals about saving humanity and European integration, and their uncomfortable ideologies, they want to effect change in a Europe that seems to be rudderless. They are simultaneously passers-by and participants in an ominous time.
At this time of grand gestures and megalomaniac societal ideas, the Second World War is brought to an end: every big idea from after 1945 revolved around Auschwitz. The Prophets of Europe provides an insight into a time that mirrors our own. Ideas and utopias for humanity, just like doomsday scenarios for the downfall of Western civilisation, resonate in the media, culture and politics of today.
PRESS ON THE PROPHETS OF EUROPE:
‘Van Hengel shows that there were many more gloomy intellectuals who criticised European culture and came up with great visions of the future. The way in which Van Hengel describes their activities and ambitions is very compelling and enlightening. Now that there is once again talk of the demise of Europe, those debates of a hundred years ago are gaining new relevance.’ – HISTORISCH NIEUWSBLAD
The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand is regarded as the trigger for the First World War. On 28 June, 1914, the Archduke and his wife Sophie were shot dead, and the European powers ended up in a catastrophic war. It is known that the killer, student Gavrilo Princip, was aided by shadowy army officers who were united in the Black Hand, but that is where the story usually ends. The shooter of Sarajevo thus appears to be a footnote in world history, but what social, cultural and intellectual background led him to this terrorist act? What moved him? And what were his aims?
Guido van Hengel follows Princip’s personal development: poor farmer’s son from the Bosnian mountains who moved with great expectations to the city, where he was radicalised and eventually became trapped in a new world. Princip’s frustration is now, a century on, still frighteningly relevant.
The Days of Gavrilo Princip is not only the story of an individual, but also the history of a whole generation of young people who unleashed an explosive cultural revolution at the beginning of the 20th century.
Press on Gavrilo Princip:
‘This meticulously told story is an excellent example of that of a young man brought to extremes under influence of his social surroundings. Van Hengel studied in Belgrade, talked with Princip’s descendants and read documents in Serb and Austrian archives. That makes this book both source criticism and biography.’ – Historisch nieuwsblad
‘In The days of Gavrilo Princip Guido van Hengel focuses carefully on the short but turbulent life of his protagonist. Moreover, he connects to that story an exciting cultural and historical study of the Balkans. A vivid and intriguing picture emerges of an intelligent, keen and energetic individual who found himself under the millstone of the political madness of his time, and willingly let himself be grinded to powder. […] Van Hengel has brought back to life Gavrilo Princip in a sober and very effective manner.’ – **** De MorgenContact us