Loneliness and times of war

It must now be a month since I finished reading Alone in Berlin, but I have been too busy to bother with the blog.  However I have manged to file a quick note of things that seem worthy of posting, and this is the oldest so I am picking it up now.  Althohgh it wil be dated March fifth I'm writing the post on the 22nd, but can stand by the memory jogging notes I wrote at the time:-

relentlessly depressing, everyone dies, graphic and awful violence

and attrocity.

Then again, what do you expect from a book written during the time of and under Nazi rule in Germany, not only that but in Berlin and with the subject matter of a protagonist trying to exist and resist at some level.

Interestingly written by someone who was there - his last work - he had a chequered history with psychiatric, drug, and prison casting huge shadows over his life and I can't help feeling probably ultimately responsible for his premature death.

On a more hopeful note I pondered the parallels with the present events and turmoil in the middle east.  I wonder what great works of literature may be getting written which could shed light no some of the world changes underway now.

I am aware this book is enjoying one of those strange fashionable posthumous popularity trends, similar to that enjoyed by the "Suite Francais" of Nemirovsky and I wanted to set out here that anyone embarking on reading this book should be prepared for an extremely and unremittingly depressing read.  There really is no redemption and it is best to have awareness of that and of the bleakness and abhorrent nature of the subject material before embarking on the read!  I think perhaps all the more chilling because you could arguably say the same of a work like "Crime and Punishment", but somehow this work does not have the excitement and detachment that is possible with that work.

I felt a sense of pleasure for the author when I read in the notes that he did finally feel he had created a novel in this work - that was something I could relate to and which I was pleased he managed to experience before his premature death.