The Kindly Ones has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: “Please, mein Herr, shoot the children cleanly.”― Jonathan Littell, The Kindly OnesSu. Les Bienveillantes de Jonathan Littell a créé l’événement de la rentrée littéraire Selon l’auteur, la portée du roman dépasse le seul génocide des Juifs. 78 Myth, Morals, and Metafiction in Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes [ PM LA and Littell has asked his translators to use in each language the name under.

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Related to this dubious bienvdillantes of kinship is an intermittent suggestion of larger historical mirrorings. Aue is interested in the potential philosophical justifications for the mass murder of Jews and regularly consults Plato.

Now it has been translated into English and will surely cause a similar fuss. There are mysterious details, such as the twice-mentioned fact that Aue bienveillanttes circumcised. Was man Littell nicht vorwerfen kann, ist mangelnde Recherchenarbeit. There is no absolute evil, banal or otherwise. He has succeeded in putting himself inside the tortured mind of his character.

The evil that ordinary men can do

The author’s other incredible achievement is the way he describes how the Nazi machine worked during the war: At one point, Aue quotes the critic Maurice Blanchot’s description of Moby-Dick as a work that “presents the ironic quality of an enigma and reveals itself only by the questions it raises”. I find this revelation quite disturbing. If Truth can contain this, there is no safe place anywhere. At moments like this, the authorial detachment he cultivates with such magisterial elegance seems evasive.

Whatever reaction his novel sparks, Littell has undoubtedly succeeded where many ambitious writers have failed. But then we forget the State is made up of individuals, all more or less ordinary, each one with his life, his story, the sequence of accidents that led him one day to end up on the right side of the gun or the sheet of paper while others ended up on the wrong side.


View all 43 comments. I’m certainly not saying that everyone will find this book engaging, and I certainly dislike the attitude of some critics who are using this book to separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were. And autoportrait of Nazi official and aesthete was widely discussed. Questions Part 3 10 12 Oct 01, As a character, Aue is neither plausible nor realistic. The torturers are all too human and that’s why this book is so uncomfortably ambiguous.

The Kindly Ones (Littell novel) – Wikipedia

Aue is interested in the potential philosophical justifications for the mass murder of Jews and regularly consults Plato. He writes like a German Vassily Grossman: The story he tells, roughly speaking, begins with his acceptance of an assignment on the ill-fated eastern campaign, to write reports on the implementation of steadily darkening directives concerning the “Jewish question”.

He had published almost nothing before this book. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of languages and ethnicities of the Caucus, and the absurdity of trying to classify them into Jewish or not-Jewish so they can be exterminated shows the foolish ideal of the Nazi goal of racial conquest.

Even straightforward exchanges are heavy-handed and bereft of fluidity. Paragraphs continue on for pages with little rhyme or reason. Nunca te perguntaste nada parecido? I wonder if the book would not have been stronger if Aue had been a much more ordinary man. E si decide pertanto di cercare di ottenerne degli schiavi lavoratori. The two police officers follow his trail to the house, but he manages to hide from them.

Max exchanges cloths with his sister Una, he putting on her dress, she putting on his uniform. Aue is present for many of the worst moments of the war, from the massacres in the Ukraine to the siege of Stalingrad, the industrialised horrors of Auschwitz and the fall of Berlin. He conducts a long interview with a captured Soviet commissar who is about to be shot.

I read it fast. Nor does the gratuitous and forced incest make an inherently bad novel, although they can understandably disgust so many readers and either dissuade or titillate so many others.


honathan Assigning a star rating to this book is impossible. In Lrs Kindly Ones can be spotted quite dinstinct references to The Littelka killing of mother and stepfather, an incestuous relationship with sister and the title outright appeals to Erinyes, the gracious onestranslated also as kindly onesincarnation of vengeance.

Again, this is not a novel for the faint of heart or my mother. Yet this is what good historical fiction does: In the Caucasus he attempts to establish the ethnicity of various mountain tribes, before being wounded in the siege of Stalingrad. This story is, of course, at the center of the huge controversy the novel is creating – a controversy that has exploded bienveillanyes every country I read this book in its French original version – which is important, because many American reviews are harsh with the author’s writing style, and that may be due to the translation: Likewise, the incestuous and murderous subplot, that sees Aue pursued across half of Europe and half the pages by two police officers, is overwrought and far-fetched.

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The Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell

This is hardly surprising since in the past 25 years the Holocaust has become a sacred subject, mistakenly separated from and elevated above the Second World War itself. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Maximilian Aue is just a byproduct of this whole history, if you can believe it. He returns to convalesce in Berlin. Art is always at some level entertainment, and the idea of being entertained, however skilfully, by this particular set of horrors seems inherently objectionable.

Retrieved from ” https: Era o seu trabalho. But Helene says even if the Germans win they are going to pay.