The Downfall of Johan van Vere de With

With an Afterword by Win J. Simons
Translated by Brian Doyle Du Breuil
₹899.00 $28 £21.99

One of the first novels to openly explore gay love and eroticism, Pathologies is a lost classic that is now translated into English for the first time.

At the start of the twentieth century, Jacob Israël de Haan led an eventful life as a poet, journalist, teacher and lawyer in the Netherlands. His autobiographical novella Pipelines caused a storm of controversy in 1904 with its portrayal of a subject that was considered scandalous at the time—a romantic relationship between two young men. He lost his teaching job and the entire print run was pulped.

In his iconic 1908 novel Pathologies, he once again openly and radically explored the topic of homosexuality. The story centres around adolescent Johan, who lives a secluded life with his father and their elderly housekeeper in a large house. For a while, Johan has been plagued by erotic fantasies about his classmates. When, to make matters worse, he finds himself feeling attracted to his father—first in a dream and then in real life—he grows desperate. Johan moves out, finding room and board with an older married couple in Haarlem, where he meets René, a young confident artist. Johan falls head-over-heels in love and the two men enter a sadomasochistic relationship that soon begins to spiral out of control.

Johan is one of world literature’s most tragic, troubled young heroes, at par with Goethe’s Werther and Dostoevsky’s Raskolnikov. His struggle to come to terms with his fantasies and desires—rife with taboos that continue to resonate today—forms the beating heart of this daring novel. Written in De Haan’s precise, lyrical prose, Pathologies has lost none of its force more than a century after it was first published.

ISBN: 9781803093468
Pages: 352
Size: 6” x 9”
Format: Hardback
Publication Year: May 2024
Rights: UCP
Category: Fiction
Shipping: Shipping rates will be calculated at checkout and will depend on your location.

If you are ordering from India, your order will be shipped from Seagull Books, Calcutta.

If you are ordering from the US or the UK or anywhere else in the world, your order will be shipped from the University of Chicago Press' distribution centre, Chicago.

Please note: For customers paying in currencies other than Indian rupee or US dollar, prices will be calculated according to the currency conversion rate at the time of purchase and may vary from the printed price.


leave a review