Friday, November 2, 2007

Book Discussion: Slaughterhouse-Five

Readers Roundtable will be meeting tomorrow, Saturday November 3 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Kurt Vonnegut's novel Slaughter-House Five.

Elizabeth has been doing a bit of research on the firebombing of Dresden and kindly forwarded me this message with some fascinating weblinks.
Kurt Vonnegut may be the best known writer to survive the firebombing of Dresden, but as you would expect, he is not the only one.

For the last year or so, I have been working my way through the diaries of Victor Klemperer, who escaped deportation by the Nazis and survived the firebombing of Dresden (rather, he survived because of the firebombing of Dresden).

I am only as far as the summer of 1943 in my reading of the diaries, but here’s a link to an article in Der Spiegel which excerpts from his diary.

About the time I started rereading Slaughterhouse Five, I found an online gallery of old photos and drawings of pre-war Dresden, but I failed to bookmark the page, and now I can’t find it again. I wanted to get some mental picture of the city that looked like “Oz” to Vonnegut. I’ll keep looking, and if I find it, I’ll send you the link.


PS: During the Hitler years, in addition to his diaries, Victor Klemperer produce a study of the language of the Third Reich and how the National Socialists changed the German language, redefining old words and creating new ones for propaganda purposes (similar to “Newspeak” in 1984).

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