Thursday, November 03, 2005

Suspicions and Treason

Vollmann continues to flow, it is unimaginable that such narrative verve will continue for 450 more pages. The chapter Breakout begins around p. 280 and it details the contradictions of all totalitarian thought, its static chains of command which inevitably lead to wartime confusion (as if the militaries of democratic nations were perfectly lucid!) and, often, defeat; the capitulation, then, is addressed to its constituents, which were obviously defeatist elements to begin with. The choice afforded to captured Soviet officers was defection and propaganda or Zyklon showers. The bullet or the noose, reverberates.


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