Kisah Rudolf dalam buku ini sangat menarik Mulai dari bagaimana dia tertarik hijrah dari Belanda ke Hindia timur, menyusul ayah dan ibunya yang kala itu sudah menjadi pengusaha kebun teh dan kina Rudolf sendiri lulusan teknik Delft, sebuah kampus kenamaan yang sebenarnya mampu menjadikan Rudolf orang sukses dalam bisnis di Eropa Tetapi akhirnya dia tetap hijrah ke Belanda.
Ternyata, di sana, khususnya Priangan sudah banyak keluarga menjadi juragan perkebunan di sekitaran Gunug Salak, Gunung Tilu Rudolf memilih daerah Gambung, yang benar benar belum pernah terjamah tangan manusia Di sanalah, semua perjuangan Rudolf dimulai Mulai dari hidup miskin, menderita, penyakit selesma, kelembapan merajai, rumah sederhana, dan tentu kesepian karena begitu jauh dari Bogor, Bandung, maupun Batavia.
Lantas muncul sosok Jenny, gadis cantik mandiri keturunan seorang pejabat Hindia, cicit dari Deandels Mereka saling jatuh cinta, namun dilarang karena Rudolf belum menampakkan kesuksesan dalam perkebuunan tehnya yang baru Maka mereka hanya bekririm surat Duh romantisnya Jenny dan Rudolf akhrinya menikah, kemudian beranak lima, alasannya karena Rudolf tidak bisa menahan kecantikan Jenny manusiawi sekali Kemudian muncul persoalan menyekolahkan Ru dan Emile ke Belanda Konflik keluarga, hingga peralihan tampuk Gambung dari Rudolf ke Ru.
novelnya mengalir dan asyik dibaca.
In Vertrok Rudolf Kerkhoven, Een Pas In Delft Afgestudeerd Chemisch Technoloog , Naar Indi , Waarheen In De Loop Der Jaren Al Ongeveer Vijfendertig Leden Van Zijn Familie Hem Waren Voorgegaan Deze Mensen, Onder Wie Vele Markante Persoonlijkheden, Vormden Een Clan Die Vol Ondernemingslust, Maar Ook Bezield Van Vooruitstrevende Denkbeelden, In Het Wingewest Oost Indi Een Beter En Voor De Bevolking Rechtvaardiger Systeem Van Landbouw En Economie Wilde Invoeren Zij Pachtten Woeste Gronden En Afgeschreven Gouvernementscultures, En Wisten In De Loop Van Enkele Tientallen Jaren Uitgestrekte Plantages In Het Bergland Van West Java Tot Bloei Te Brengen Met Goedvinden Van Hun Nakomelingen Zijn Gegevens Uit De Familie Archieven Door Hella S Haasse In Romanvorm Verwerkt Heren van de thee Is De Geschiedenis Van Het Echtpaar Rudolf Kerkhoven En Jenny Roosegaarde Bischop, En Van Hun Gezinsleven Op De Afgelegen Theeonderneming Gamboeng In De Preanger Heren van de thee Is Ni T De Geschiedenis Van Ontwikkelingen In De Koloniale Politiek Van Tot , Maar Van Mensen Wier Karakter, Lotgevallen En Onderlinge Verhouding Door Die Ontwikkelingen Werden Bepaald Zo Heeft Deze Nieuwe Roman Van Hella S Haasse In Feite Drie Hoofdpersonen De Autocratische Rudolf, Zijn Langzaam Aan Verbitterd Rakende Echtgenote Jenny, En West Java Met Zijn Indrukwekkende, Mysterieuze Natuur Mooi boek Las het omdat het als meesterwerk van Hella S Haase wordt beschouwd, en dat kan al tellen want ze heeft zoveel goede dingen geschreven Het vertelt het verhaal van een Nederlands gezin op een theeplantage in Java, tegen de achtergrond van de koloniale politieke ontwikkelingen Daar had ik aanvankelijk mijn bedenkingen bij, want lezen over de politiek in een exotisch land vind ik vaak moeilijk Gelukkig was dat slechts een klein luik Haase beschrijft vooral de problemen in het gezin en baseert zich daarvoor op nagelaten brieven Zo vertelt ze over de niet ingeloste verwachtingen van vrouw Jenny die uiteindelijk depressief ten onder gaat Echtgenoot Rudolf voelt zich dan weer achteruit gesteld ten opzichte van zijn broers, hij heeft nooit de bewondering van zijn familie gehad die hij dacht te hebben verdiend De familieconflicten zijn allemaal heel herkenbaar Ook mooi, door de prachtige natuurbeschrijvingen waande ik me vaak midden in de jungle.
I find it impossible not to wonder how much is been lost in between the words of the different languages Speaking only one fluently but dabbling in a couple of others has taught me there s some phrases unique to a national voice which are absent in others, and although it s difficult to spot them in the printed page, it s still fun to look.
The Tea Lords is colonial historical fiction it s based on real documents I concentrated on this subject as a student, so I kept drawing comparisons with similar British texts However, the only references to Dutch colonialism in particular that I ve encountered are in Joseph Conrad s Heart of Darkness Those ghastly first impressions are hard to shift, although The Tea Lords is set in Asia, not Africa and was written much later Haasse gives a rather sympathetic view, entirely from the Dutch perspective, of the family units that moved out to the edges of the Western empires of the time Although she drew heavily on archive material she states that she removed all the historical detail to concentrate on the human element There are dark undertones to the book, particularly in the experiences of the wives and mothers of the tea plantation owners Jenny s diary extracts reminded me of Jean Rhys Jane Eyre prequel The Wide Sargasso Sea and Barbara Kingsolver s missionary family experience The Poisonwood Bible.
Apart from my feminist rants however, there was much to intrigue in the exploration of men in this environment The protagonist Rudolf is interesting and humane rather than obnoxious He both suffers and enjoys the patriarchy of colonialism, never entirely satisfied by his father and brothers treatment of him yet revelling in his own power over nature and the natives The latter appear shadowy even though they are almost always present as personal staff and within national and international events uprisings, the building of interior roads, the explosion of Krakatoa They are intimidating, unreliable and mysterious especially the women are suspected of a connection to the darkness, the wild and magical Whilst I m sure this is an accurate portrayal of a belief system of a place and period their gaping absence in the book is still uncomfortable whether just for the reader today or intentionally also for the characters within the book I can t tell.
There are so many stories in this book beyond those spelt out by the letters and diaries it takes some concentration to piece them all together I m still not sure if I have sorted all the cousins and their power dynamics out However, this is not because of the writing style or translation, one or both of which err on the side of clarity and simplicity The framing of the story through the papers of the characters is the only complicated structural aspect of the book Reading between the lines to discover what is implied but left unsaid, described but not explained develops the characters and the sense of place and really draws you into the book.
As is evident, I could talk about books like this for some time, equally obviously though, this niche genre has a specific appeal I want to reiterate that I think that comparison is one of the most appealing and enduring forms of learning, and that you can gain so much by applying this to any form of text This book does just that through it s structure and position in the canon of this genre.
978 1846271717 8.
99 Portobello books Ltdhttp www.
uk Tea Lords Hel My Jakarta Globe review of The Tea LordsThe Tea Lords by Hella S Haasse is a novel, but it is not fiction , writes the author in a vital note, tucked away at the very end of the book Factual histories often focus on the big figures princes, revolutionaries and governors general and leave the lives of the bit players to writers of historical fiction The Tea Lords, straddling the strange gap between these genres, focuses on the side lights of Indonesia s colonial past the lives, loves and losses of a dynasty of Dutch tea planters in the uplands of West Java Hella S Haasse is the grande damme of Dutch literature Now 92, she was born in Batavia modern Jakarta and spent the first two decades of her life in what was then the Dutch East Indies During a sixty year career she has written many novels, some drawing on her own background in Indonesia But in The Tea Lords she has done something a little different The book originally published in Dutch in 1992, but only now available in a crisp English translation by Ina Rilke spans the lifetime of Rudolf Kerkhoven, scion of an established family of planters in Java The book opens as the young, idealistic, and ambitious Kerkhoven completes his studies in Holland in the 1860s and returns to Java to be inducted into the mysteries of the tea trade But the core of the story lies in Rudolf s struggles to establish his own remote plantation, Gamboeng, in the damp uplands south of Bandung, and in his marriage to Jenny, daughter of another old established Dutch dynasty in Java All this makes for the bones of a conventional family saga and indeed, that is how The Tea Lords is arranged, with a galaxy of cousins and uncles scattered over the green Javanese mountainsides, with sibling rivalry, overbearing patriarchs, and dark secrets But Haasse did not simply invent these people A man named Rudolf Kerkhoven really did found a plantation at Gamboeng tea is still grown in the area today , and really did marry a woman called Jenny, and the book is driven by large excerpts from their own letters and journals This original approach at times makes The Tea Lords a frustrating read In her afterword Haasse notes that the quotations have not been invented rather they have been arranged to meet the demands of a novel But this can lead to confusion how much has the author meddled with the chronology How often has she edited what appear as verbatim excerpts And in its attempts to combine aspects of both fiction and non fiction, the book sometimes stumbles Passages about the technicalities of tea growing and the background of the main families, which in a history book could have been comfortably described, here have to be forced unrealistically into the mouths of the characters Thoughts and emotions, hinted at in the original letters, take a strangely flat tone when Haasse expands them, and the blurring of the line between real quotations and invented dialogue often leaves the drive of the narrative hidden behind a mist of ambiguity It s hard not to feel that The Tea Lords would have been stronger as either pure fiction, or pure history But despite this, the disjointed strangeness of the book s structure manages perhaps unintentionally to convey the disjointed strangeness of the lives it depicts Whole generations of Dutch men and women like the characters in this book were conditioned to think of a far off Holland as home while living out most of their lives on some steamy plantation in Java They did not consider themselves the active agents of a colonial project as we might regard them now, and in detailing their private concerns, their petty arguments, and their fears Haasse conveys this idea convincingly It is unfortunate that the Indonesians who feature in the book are little than crude caricatures of loyal retainers and devoted maids, but the author didn t have their letters and diaries to draw from, so this was probably inevitable The greatest strength of The Tea Lords is in its atmosphere if the conversations are sometimes stilted, the descriptions of the landscapes are anything but, and a powerful sense of the sheer, overwhelming greenness of the Javanese countryside pervades the book The portrayal of Jenny Kerkhoven s fears, frustrations and eventual descent towards madness, meanwhile, offers an unsettling glimpse into the darker currents beneath the petty world of the colonial social scene In the final third the book subtly changes pace Haasse begins to quote ever larger chunks from the archives, often without bothering to embed them in her own prose Yet as the 20th century opens and the key characters move towards old age they suddenly take stronger shape and become sympathetic, and the terrible toll that plantation life has taken on their relationships and their happiness becomes clear The Tea Lords unusual nature does at times make it a difficult book, and readers may well be left with many frustratingly unanswered questions about the real life people who inspired it But by the time the book reaches its quietly sad closing scene in the cool, green forest of Gamboeng it no longer really matters whether it is truth or fiction.
Ditulis berdasarkan kisah nyata kehidupan keluarga Rudolph Kerkhoven Keluarga Belanda yang hidup sebagai juragan teh di Gamboeng, suatu daerah terpencil di Jawa Barat pada tahun 1873 sd 1918 Hari hari yang dilalui oleh Rudolph setelah kembali dari Belanda, tempat ia menamatkan sekolahnya Kembali ke Hindia, mengikuti jejak orang tuanya menjadi pengusaha perkebunan di pedalaman Jawa Barat Keberhasilan ayahnya sebagai juragan teh membuat Rudolph ingin menuai keberhasilan yang sama, sukses membuka lahan perkebunan mulai dari nol hingga menjadi perkebunan terpandang Hingga suatu saat, kesendirian tidak lagi menyenangan dan pertemuannya dengan seorang perempuan muda bernama Jenny merubah hari harinya Bersama istrinya Jenny, Rudolph yang tidak tertarik dengan segala pergaulan yang dianggapnya hanya membuang uang, membangun perkebunan yang menjadi hasrat satu satunya dalam hidupnya Penulis menggambarkan kehidupan orang orang Belanda di Hindia saat itu dengan segala macam rupa masalah dan sifat kolonial Hidup merantau jauh dari Belanda dan menghadapi orang orang dengan budaya dan kepercayaan yang sangat berbeda Buku ini juga menceritakan tentang terjadinya peristiwa peristiwa besar saat itu seperti meletusnya gunung Krakatau di Banten yang menyebabkan langit gelap seperti malam dan perang di Aceh yang menelan banyak korban jiwa dikedua belah pihak yang bersengketa Membayangkan pada masa itu, masih banyak harimau yang berkeliaran Alam yang masih perawan, dan udara dingin pegunungan Semoga suatu saat dapat berkunjung ke Gambung dan melihat yang tersisa dari perkebunan dan peninggalan dari apa yang dulu dibangun oleh Rudolph, jika masih ada.
A friend gave a copy of the English version of this book as a farewell present well it s like she had to give away her books prior to moving back to her country but it took me two years before I finally decided to read it How I wish I d read it sooner I admit that the reason why I enjoy the story so much is rather subjective, since I was born and raised in Bandung The lush depiction of Priangan landscapes of the late 18th century and the romantic feeling it brought me is why I gave it four instead of three stars The main thing I takeaway from this book is a sense of admiration for the hardwork of growing a tea and quinine plantation, which we I take for granted as part of West Java countryside sceneries While some other reviews I read objected that the author did not criticise colonialism in this book, this did not bother me since I read it as a family saga rather than a historic account I agree with Tim Hannigan s review on The Jakarta Globe that the lack of indigenous voice in this account is due to lack of source material Also, I wasn t annoyed by the Malay not yet Indonesian at the time , Sundanese and French words used presumably because I m familiar with them I appreciate the English translation, which I find so rich and I hope does not alter reduce much from the feel of its original language.
In the excerpt from a 1959 letter to her brother, posed as a prelude to the book, Bertha de Rijck van der Gracht Kerkhoven affirms that, contrary to common belief, a meaningful view on the past can often be achieved through the usually overlookedside lights , those details and glances delving into everyday vicissitudes and feelings, only apparently trivial and instead able to keep the focus broad and narrow at the same time In this spirit and thanks to private documents, journals and letters from the Het Indisch thee en familie archief foundation belonging to descendants of the main characters portrayed in The Tea Lords, Hella Haasse has assembled a powerful narration in the guise of a fictionalised saga revolving around actual events and people Set in colonial Java, in those days part of the Dutch East Indies, the novel spans the years going from 1869 to 1907, with the epilogue reaching as far as 1918, and follows the life of Rudolf Kerkhoven, heir to a prominent family of plantation owners From his boyhood in Amsterdam to his arrival in Batavia, today s Jakarta, the ambition of becoming a successful landholder animates him against the odds, the confrontations with his father and the expatriate society, and the alienating efforts to adjust in a different culture Tea, coffee and quinine As the seasons unfold, turning into decades, gains and losses sum, the sultry stillness of the tropical atmosphere covering under a vaporous veil the relentless struggle to tame a hard but generous land And while the obsessive dedication to his work starts taking its toll on Rudolph s marriage, which surreptitiously though inexorably spirals down into tragedy, the frame expands and the epistolary form of the last chapters allows for a plurality of perspectives, enriching the story with choral voices able to shed light into the intricacies of familial relationships and their ramifications A stream of living, seamlessly recounted to the reader in a dry, sophisticated prose The minimalistic dialogues, the lack of celebration, the unobtrusive and impassive tone leave ample freedom to exercise personal interpretation, though the detached writing poise never forgets to suggest a subtle emotional and psychological analysis.
One of the best Dutch authors of her generation, Haasse herself was born in Indonesia, where she spent her early youth up to her formative years before going back to The Netherlands, and her first hand knowledge, together with the impressive historical understanding, shines through the profound sense of time and place, rendered in all their contradictions, triumphs and shadows and composing an ever changing vivid tableau about the ordinary epic of an unexceptional but strongly driven man.
S That s sad for readers of first rate historical fiction but maybe an opportunity for a publisher.
Dutch colonialism in the East Indies now Indonesia is the setting for The Tea Lords Rudolf Kerkhoven, a young rule follower from Holland, goes to the East Indies in the 1870 s to join his Father s tea plantation Rudolf has all the virtues of his age He is conservative, honorable, frugal, hard working and aspires to always do the right thing He has all the prejudices and self importance of his age also Those attributes will never allow him to see his choices as anything but proper Gradually Rudolf falls in love with his new home He marries a lawyer s daughter from Jakarta, Jenny, and over the years through great effort and great thrift makes a success of the plantation Jenny brings a vague touch of the first Mrs Rochester to The Tea Lords Jenny was island born and raised She sees the Dutch colonists for the opportunistic interlopers that they are and not as the saviors and adventurers they see themselves to be There are secrets to Jenny s family unknown to Rudolf when they marry One of those secrets will come to life slowly as Jenny gets further away from the coastline she grew up on and spends time in the close humidity in the interior of the island at the plantation The Tea Lords is an big,old fashioned, completely satisfying novel, rich in detail and authority over it s subject matter It moves at it s own pace introducing many characters and developments Haasse s writing is subtle and precise making the story paramount There is sufficient, interesting explanation of the economics, politics and farming of the time to give the novel flavor and make it specific to it s setting The natives verses colonists aspects are heartfelt and illuminating but this is ultimately a family saga Haasse based this novel on documents and letters from the Dutch families who lived and farmed in Indonesia in the 19th century She called this book a novel but not fiction I ordered The Tea Lords from a U.
K bookshop So far it s not available from a U.
S publisher To be honest given how few and far between any books of Haasse s have been translated into English I doubt this one will brought out over here The Tea Lords is worth the effort and expense to import personally but you could also start with the three of her titles that are available here In A Dark Wood Wandering, The Scarlet City and Threshold of Fire.