Wednesday, September 15, 2010

adj: new; not resembling something formerly known

Current book: Schindler's List
Pages read: 185 - 241

I don't really know how to describe the plot of this book, as you may have gathered from the previous posts about it. Basically, this entire 60 pages or so was about the various ways in which Schindler contrives to get as many Jews into his factories as possible. Sometimes he helps out individuals at the request of their families or in other special circumstances, but mostly it's just as many people as possible as often as possible. His workers get fed well, are housed in barracks that have no SS supervision, and even get the chance to bathe on occasion; all of these privileges, of course, are amazing in comparison to the work camps. There's also a lot of information about all the bribery and double-dealing Schindler has to do to continue to run his operations this way, and about the great risks that he takes to do so. (There are also lots more horrifying Holocaust stories, but I will, once again, skip those.)

I'm taking this moment to point out Webster's definition of a novel: "an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events." The key word here is "invented." This has not been invented. It has been altered slightly to include dialogue, but that's hardly the same thing. So, I maintain my "this is not a novel" stance. At some point in this part, Keneally mentions a survivor who has a story about Schindler, but calls him M, which, he explains to us in a footnote, is because he doesn't want to be identified by name. Protecting the names of your sources is a perfectly responsible thing to do, but it's not required when you're writing a novel. I'm not sure what Keneally's definition of "novel" actually is, but it's clearly not the same as mine. Or Webster's.

Not terribly much more to say today, I'm afraid. I'm sure that at some point soon something is actually going to happen that resembles a climax, and then I'll have some material to work with. Until then, just go read anything about the Holocaust and you'll get the idea.

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