Bali IB DP English

The Editor’s Notes: Chapter 13

In Analysis of Plot, Narrative Perspectives, Scarfman, The Editor on 19/04/2009 at 21:01

                I found this chapter to be a very sweet one. Now, Droogstoppel would probably shake his head at me for referring to a piece of digression as ‘sweet’, but I do find it a dear little excerpt in the novel, and furthermore I fully agree with the narrator’s notions on digressions in general.

                Apart from being a description of Havelaar’s new house and compound, this digression also shows us some ‘undergrowth’ in that it is interlaced with remarks and mentions of cultural and colonial matters. His note on the difference between not only the housing in Indonesia to those of Europe, but also the civilization, reminds readers to leave their assumptions at the door when reading this novel, for life in Java is, to most of us, unfamiliar in so many ways.

                Also in this chapter, a further mention of Mrs. Slotering, who is slowly becoming the most mysterious character in the story. Her reclusive tendencies (or discretions, as Tina puts it) are often charged on her being a ‘native child’ whose life as an Assistant Resident’s wife has made her ‘fond of exercising authority’.

                Anyway, on the editing end of things, as I’ve said, I’m quite happy with this little chapter, for the language, especially on the first part (on digressions and the two extremes) is beautiful and the imagery rich. I cannot help but admire a writer who can paint pictures with his words. I must say Scarfman has done very well in avoiding ‘coarse brushwork’ and ‘screaming colors’.

I’m quite looking forward to tomorrow, for I feel now we have really sunk our teeth into the story, and it can only get better from here on out! Anyone else feeling the rising action?

The Editor, 44 Prinzengracht, Amsterdam.



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