Posts From Author: schindler’s list

Love in the Time of Genocide

The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 2014; 320pp …how did “a sleepy country of poets and dreamers,” and the most highly educated nation the earth had ever seen, how did it yield to such wild, such fantastic disgrace? What made its people, men and women, consent to having their souls raped — and raped by a eunuch (Grofaz: the virgin Priapus, the teetotal Dionysus, the vegetarian Tyrannosaurus rex)? Where did it come from, the need for such a methodical, such a pedantic, and such a literal exploration of the bestial? These are the questions that orbit the singularity at the center of twentieth-century history. In his second Holocaust novel, The Zone of Interest, Martin Amis sketches a few possible answers while acknowledging — in a thoughtful afterword — that we nevertheless “know almost nothing about the why.” In Time’s Arrow (1991), his first foray into this particular zone of interest, the Holocaust is glimpsed obliquely — like the Medusa reflected in Perseus’s shield — through the lens of Amis’s formal fireworks. The action happens in reverse: people spring to life and are packed on trains that take them away from concentration camps; relationships begin with rows and end […]
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