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Document Details :
Title: De val als een reddende sprong.
Subtitle: Een herlezing van de jacht van Philip in De Hondsdagen van Hugo Claus
Author(s): LENSEN, Jan
Journal: Spiegel der Letteren
Volume: 44 Issue: 3 Date: 2002
Fifty years after its first publication, Hugo Claus’s second novel De Hondsdagen (1952) has not yet yielded up all its secrets. The protagonist Philip de Vogel’s inability to attain his youthful beloved Bea and thereby to perpetuate his care-free childhood, has to this day invariably been interpreted as a failure. He has to give up his youth and is forced to adjust to the false and impure society of adults. In this article, I argue that this is not necessarily the case. The growingpains that come with adulthood appear to be less poignant than the utterly negative consequences of the will to perpetuate childhood. The child’s paradise has turned into a hell from which Philip has to flee in order to save himself. Only by doing this is he able to develop a sense of responsibility and commitment in a society which previously he shunned.