Tag Archives: Germany

The Misapprehension of Satire: On ‘The Zone of Interest’ by Martin Amis

“O Germany— Hearing the speeches that ring from your house, one laughs. But whoever sees you, reaches for his rifle.” —Bertolt Brecht (from Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem) I. Introduction January marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the infamous labor and extermination camp in Poland where more than one million Jews were murdered by the Nazis, right under the nose of Polish citizens and the wider international community. The timing of this gruesome anniversary is poignant, as European anti-Semitism is perhaps more virulent and threatening now than at any point since the war. Anti-Semitism has unfortunately proven …Continue reading

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Dignity at the Mercy of a Ruined Economy: Hans Keilson’s ‘Life Goes On’

Originally published in 1933, Hans Keilson’s recently translated first novel, Life Goes On (Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 255 pages; translated by Damion Searls), is a gripping story of a family living in post-World War I Germany. Keilson’s autobiographical novel, which came out when he was only twenty-three, is a striking exploration of struggle, shame, and hope, and what it means to live. Life Goes On follows the lives of the Seldersens as they face the economic turbulence sweeping Germany. Herr Seldersen, a veteran of the Great War, runs a small shop with his wife. Even as they try to make …Continue reading

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