yotg discussion (spoilers)

liril at gmx.net liril at gmx.net
Thu Dec 14 10:30:04 EST 2000


Hallie wrote:

>Anyway - this is worrying.  Either I didn't know the term Wermacht,
>or knew it so long ago that I might as well never have known it.
>But I tried to put the "ugly German" characteristics you described
>above unto Wermacht and see if they fit.  For me, they didn't.
>There was no "Germanic" feel to the character at all for me, except
>the pronunciation of the name.

Well, that's a good thing, then. As I tried to say, it might just be that I'm
hypersensitve concerning this and even imagining things that aren't there.
That's why I tried to make clear that I was just discribing my impressions.

I was just that to me Wermacht came across as being similar to these
characters. Like acting and feeling important whilst not being it. And afraid
of superiors. Or his ridiculous way of dictating, telling how to unterline the
headings... Accuracy with no point, that's rather "Germanic" to me :-) And
maybe, being hypersensitive, too :-)

>(And you wouldn't believe how
>difficult it is for a non-German speaker to say "Wizard Wermacht"
>readily.  Reading it to Cara, it almost invariably came out "Vizard
>Vermacht or "Wizard Were-macht".)

<smiles> But then, keep in mind, I'd probably say somthing like Vizard
Vermacht *all* the time. So this is a bilingual "Zungenbrecher" (my dictionary
is on strike babelfish say tongue crusher. Like "she sells sea shells on the
sea shore")

>The main aspect of his character seemed to be his fear,
>and the way he dealt with it, which was to bully and de-humanize.
>Oops, as I write that, how like _Nazi_ mentality it sounds - not
>German people, though, even ugly German-stereotype ones.

Yes. (thank you). You know as I read this, I notice that maybe I muddeld up
German-stereotypes and Nazi-stereotypes. <flinch> But most of the characters
that came to my mind were these "commanding officers" from WWII films. But
unfortunately, it is true that (in my experiences) they have a part in the way
Germans are seen by some people abroard. Anyhow, assuming stereotypes
everywhere is a tad paranoid.

Consindering what you wrote there, maybe "Wermacht" figures after all...

I'll add one last thing. There was a point in the book, where I found Corkoran
more frightening and depressing that Wermacht, because, as you said Wermacht
was basically afraid, but also stupid and could be dealt with. Corkoran, or so
I felt, was much further in de-humanizing, seeing other people merely as means
to his end. When he thinks of just using the assasins in experiments, or when
he considers helping the heroes only because he finds out they could help his
project. This scene made me shiver. When one continues in this way, others are
no longer seen as subjects, but as objects, (I'm not sure wheter this makes
sense in English, too), not as fellow human beings, but things, being useful
or not. And this an attitude that frightens me to the bones.

Bettina

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