Bali IB DP English

Posts Tagged ‘The Editor’

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.

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