In 1986, Harry Mulisch's 1982 novel De aanslag / The Assault was turned in to a film directed by Fons Rademakers. Screenwriter Gerard Soeteman said about the novel:

Ik heb het boek dan ook alleen bewerkt tot scenario omdat Rademakers dat aan mij vroeg en ik nog bij hem in het krijt stond. De Aanslag is van alle kanten bij elkaar gejat: van ‘De perzik der onsterfelijkheid’ van Wolkers tot Het Meisje met het rode Haar, van Rashomon van Akira Kurosawa tot ‘Het behouden huis’ van W.F. Hermans.”

(Source: Neerlands Filmdoek.)

English translation:

I adapted the book into a screenplay only because Rademakers asked me and because I still owed him. The Assault is full of stolen materials/ideas: from The peach of immortality by Wolkers to The Girl with the Red Hair by Theun de Vries, from Rashomon by Akira Kurosawa to Het behouden huis by W. F. Hermans.

If this statement is true, what exactly did Harry Mulisch "steal" from the works that Soeteman mentions?

  • I'm wondering (having no command of Dutch whatsoever) if Soeteman is talking about the film or the novel. In particular, Rashomon is a film, so it'd make more sense for a film to borrow/plagiarise some elements from it... but then it could be just my pinhole. Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 2:15
  • 1
    @Gallifreyan I also added and translated the preceding sentence from the interview. Due to that sentence, I think he is talking about the book, even though Rashomon is a film. (And why couldn't films provide ideas for novels?)
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 9:34
  • No reason at all, it's just that I was under the impression that it mostly happens the other way around (might be just the recent influx of film adaptations, hence the "pinhole"). Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 9:37
  • My mother tongue is Dutch. The English translation is correct in that Soeteman states he 'changed/worked' the book into a movie.
    – Mirte
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 10:40
  • @Mirte Thanks. Dutch is also my native language and I read De aanslag at school (quite some time ago now).
    – Tsundoku
    Commented Jul 6, 2018 at 10:58


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