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Posts Tagged ‘Scarfman’

Hot & Not List # 2

In Character Development, Gossip, What's hot what's not on 13/04/2009 at 09:38

To my avid readers, I owe you an apology. It has been quite a while since my last post and you are no doubt experiencing some symptoms of withdrawal. I’ve been on holiday and unfortunately haven’t quite kept an eye on the hotness (and not-ness) happening in Amsterdam and Java…well I DID happen to go to Java to meet some of my colleagues in the world of gossip gurus, but i was having way too much fun to pay attention to the characters of Max Havalaar 😦 But I assure you, my loyal fans, that I am back; more deliciously vicious and critical than ever!
So to re-cap, the top of last edition’s hot list is Scarfman, our poor little writer. His creativity has made him the apple of everyone’s eye…but is his 15 minutes of fame over? Hmm, guess we’ll have to see.
Oh, and as for the most un-hot person of that week, that honor went to none other than Batavus Droopstoppel (37 Lauriergracht!). This coffee broker earned the top 2 places on the not list for not only letting Scarfman fight his battles for him, but also stealing his work many years later. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Readers, I’m afraid we’re switching gears in this edition of the Hot/Not list. We’re moving on from the people of Amsterdam and to the happenings in Java…but rest assured, we shall be visiting the much loved (and hated) Dutch characters in the future.
I give you, the hot and not people of Lebak, Java:

What’s Hot:

  1. Assistant Regent of Java: This is not so much a person, but rather a position in the Javanese government. Now, I do not claim to have extensive knowledge of Java’s extremely complex political system, but I do know that for some strange reason, the inferior is in charge of the superior. Basically, though he is thought to be the Regent’s lesser, the Assistant Regent is the one really in control. I may not be a fan of politics (yawn), but I do appreciate hard work and responsibility. So kudos to whoever holds the position of the Assistant Regent of Java.
  2. Regent of Java: Again, this is a position, not the person in the position…Now, you may ask why the actual Regent himself is not at the top of the list, but like I said above the Assistant has got the power. The Regent however, is still worthy of this list and he gets 2nd place for representing and speaking in the name of the hundred thousand or more souls that form the population of his Regency. Yay 🙂
  3. Controleur Verbrugge: The first actual person to make in on this edition of the Hot list…he is a ‘good man; cordial, hospitable, informative…blah blah blah. In short, he’s a pretty cool guy so for that reason he earns 3rd place on the list.
  4. Mrs. Havalaar: Though not ‘beautiful’ she makes it on to the list for her other qualities. Her caring nature (particularly towards her children), manners and her generally sweet demeanor reminds us that looks aren’t everything!

What’s Not:

  1. Max Havalaar: You’d expect the person the novel is named after to be hot…but Mr. Havalaar simply isn’t. What a disappointment :(. He is described as being a man of 35 and unremarkable. Ugh. Okay, so I said above looks aren’t everything, and I do mean it dear reader, but there is only so much niceness one list can have! So sorry, Mr Havalaar you are this week’s most un-hot person.
  2. Strangers of the West: Okay so this is not an actually person…but the Europeans who have come to Java have made themselves lords of the land and use it to grow products which have a greater profit back in Europe. Tsk tsk tsk.
  3. Mrs. Slottering: Described as a ‘native’ woman. Now I don’t know exactly what that implies about her personality…but it doesn’t sound very good. Also, the woman can only speak Malay so she gets number 3 for not getting with the program and expanding her vocabulary!
  4. The Great Lord at Buitenzorg: I don’t know much about him but Havalaar describes him as being a man unable to see where injustice is done. Though I can be very shallow and judgmental at times something I do really hate is injustice. So the “Great Lord’ makes it on the Not list for letting injustice happen under his rulership.

The Editor’s Notes: Chapter 4

In Analysis of Plot, Batavus Droogstoppel, Scarfman, The Editor on 07/04/2009 at 18:25

You know, I have never actually met Scarfman before. But I’m almost certain I’d like the fellow. If anything, he’s very learned. Looking at the list of essays and dissertations he had written simply astounds me, and in this latest chapter even incites praise from Droogstoppel himself!

Going through the parcel together it became obvious to me that Scarfman is a very smart, thoughtful man who is curious and passionate about many issues, including, to Droogstoppel’s immense interest, the coffee trade in the Dutch East Indies. We decided it was best to include a few pages worth of the titles of Scarfman’s works into the novel, because if nothing else they will show to the reader what kind of person they will be dealing with for a majority of the novel. It also provides a different angle on Scarfman than we have heard from Droogstoppel, who insists on portraying him as a poor, lazy and immoral man, based on extremely superficial judgments made on his appearance and that of his family and home. I actually am intrigued by the descriptions of Scarfman’s Javanese wife, and her sarong and kebaya. Naturally I must admit that his living conditions mean Scarfman is not the most successful of men, and that would be of his own fault – but I wouldn’t go so far to say that it makes him less ‘good’ than you or I or Droogstoppel. I may be wrong – he may turn out to be a scoundrel – but Scarfman may just be the most traveled and experienced person I have met lately, and this deserves some respect, at least.

I’m becoming more and more invested in this novel. Scarfman’s story is intriguing – I have begun to read some of his essays and I find much interest and knowledge in his words. I am glad to see that Droogstoppel recognizes the significance of what he is writing, but he does exaggerate. This novel will impact Coffee brokers and sugar businesses, sure, but the King? I think we mustn’t get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.

One thing does irritate me to no end, though. I am thoroughly sick of reading about how much a man of truth and religion and respectability Droogstoppel is. It is in my opinion that a man of real class wouldn’t need to repeat himself to convince others of his virtues.

Anyway, it makes for a fascinating effect, as I’ve asked my wife to read the few chapters we’ve done and she has told me that she is as interested in the story as she is annoyed by Droogstoppel’s rants. And she still asks for more pages to read. That must mean some good, no?

The Editor, 44 Prinzengracht, Amsterdam.

Hot & Not List #1

In Character Development, Cultural Context, Gossip on 23/03/2009 at 09:14

Welcome readers to my ‘What’s Hot & What’s Not’ column! Keep your eye on this space as I will be giving you news on everything hot (and not!) happening in Amsterdam and Lebak, Java. Here you will find comments on everything from important events, scandalous affairs, and the little things…all the way down to what a person is wearing. If you enjoy snide comments, a bit of sarcasm, and some sweetness mixed in…keep your eyes pealed 🙂

What’s Hot:

  1. Scarfman- Our poor little writer makes it to the top of the ‘Hot’ list. Points to him for letting his creative juices flow…poems, stories, articles…keep them coming!
  2. The ‘pretty Greek Girl’- She makes it on the list solely for her hotness…anyone who becomes the fantasy of a group of drooling, adolescent boys can be on this list any day!
  3. Frits- Okay, so perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to open up a package addressed to someone else…but he gets points for memorizing 5 pages of verse.
  4. Scarfman’s son- for ignoring all rules of propriety and entertaining us by offending Batavus Droogstoppel in such an amusing way. Keep it up little one!

What’s Not:

  1. Droogstoppel- STEALING Scarfman’s work to write about your coffee trade? Tsk tsk tsk. This hypocritical, self-righteous coffee broker makes it to the top of the ‘Not’ list, how long before he gets what he deserves?
  2. Droogstoppel- Though he has already made it to the top of my ‘Not’ list, he comes in 2nd to himself for running away and letting Scarfman fight his battles for him. Tell us, Droogstoppel, was the pretty Greek girl worth having someone get beaten up?
  3. Scarfman’s jacket- buttoned up to the chin? All the creativity in the world can’t save this man from the fashion police. Sounds like dear Scarfman needs a few lessons on how to dress!