tag : bright yellow-green apples: Or: how violence develops and where it can lead

"I see little point in persisting in a discussion with one so obstinate as you" Martin White

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Or: how violence develops and where it can lead

"Let there not be too much talk about blood here, since only necessary differences in level are to be regarded as inevitable; we would therefore direct the reader to television and the movies and the appropriate musicals and grusicals; if there is to be something fluid here, let it not be blood. Perhaps attention should merely be drawn to certain colour effects: the murdered Töges was wearing an improvised sheikh costume concocted from a rather worn sheet, and the effect of a lot of blood on a lot of white sheet is well known; a pistol is then sure to act almost like a spray gun, and since in this instance the costume was made of a large square of white cotton, modern painting, stage effects would seem to be more appropriate here than drainage. So be it. These are the facts."

How is it that I can be so utterly squeamish, and yet relish the beauty and precision of this extract from 3 of The Lost Honour Of Katharina Blum? It's certainly one of the most satisfying stories I've read for a long while and - like the film Fight Club - manages to touch parts of me that're rarely stimulated and satisfied. Through a combination of rigourous attention to aesthetics and a sharply observed story. It's an appropriate comparison to make, in some ways, cos Heinrich Böll's short story is very cinematic. Though its target is as much about media manipulation as a critique of the alienation that can come with modern materialism.


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