The effects of War, part 1

I’m reading books I got for Christmas. Yes, it is March — but we still have snow. I’ve been saving some of these books. Some books need the right frame of mind. I got two books from 1Mom for Christmas. I just finished the first of these, The Reader, by Bernhard Schlink. It is pretty interesting. It contains a lot of German Guilt over the Third Reich. I’ve encountered this before in some friends of German ancestry. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I’m still not sure what to do with it.

At one point during the war crimes trial described in The Reader one of the defendants asks the judge an honest question: “What would you have done?” I’m sure we’d all like to think we’d be part of the heroic underground or that we’d have stood up and said No in the face of monstrous injustice, but would we? Do we? Are there not monstrous injustices in our own society that we ignore? How will we be judged by history?

On the book vs the movie question, I saw the movie before I read the book. The book is slightly different than the movie, and, I think, gives better insight into the moral questions and moral ambiguity that the narrator faces. The movie is very well done, though, and Kate Winslet is brilliant in it. I recommend both equally.


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