Couperus, Louis

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Couperus, Louis


Born June 10, 1863, in The Hague; died July 16, 1923, in De Steeg. Dutch writer.

The son of a highly placed official in the Dutch administration in Indonesia, Couperus published a collection of verses entitled Orchids in 1887. His novel Eline Vere (1889) showed the decay of high society. The theme of the inevitability of fate is central to his novels Fate (1890) and Old People and the Things That Pass (1906). In the novel The Hidden Force (1900), Couperus contrasted the Dutch colonizers and the people of Java, slumbering but full of latent power.

Couperus wrote the utopian novels Majesty (1893, Russian translation, 1906) and Peace to All the World (1895, Russian translation, 1907). World War I dealt a blow to his Utopian ideas; he turned to antiquity and sought in the past the sources of modern barbarism and antihumanism—for example, in the novels Comedians (1917) and Xerxes (1919). Couperus was a representative of naturalism in Dutch literature.


Proza [vols. 1–3] Amsterdam, 1923–25.
Verzamelde werken, vols. 1–12. Amsterdam-Antwerp, 1952–57.
De boeken der kleine zielen, vols. 1–4. The Hague [1952].
In Russian translation:
“Fatum.” Novyi zhurnal literatury, iskusstva i nauki, February-April, 1905.


Tricht, H. W. van. Louis Couperus. The Hague, 1960.
Ham, J. van, and J. C. Verkerk. Facetten en figuren. The Hague-Rotterdam [1961].
Bogaerts, T. De antieke wereld van Louis Couperus. Amsterdam, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.