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The Death of the Adversary: A Novel download ebook

by Ivo Jarosy,Hans Keilson

The Death of the Adversary: A Novel download ebook
ISBN:
0374139628
ISBN13:
978-0374139629
Author:
Ivo Jarosy,Hans Keilson
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Reissue edition (July 20, 2010)
Language:
Pages:
208 pages
ePUB:
1343 kb
Fb2:
1893 kb
Other formats:
doc mbr mobi lrf
Category:
World Literature
Subcategory:
Rating:
4.4

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed adversary whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany.

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed adversary whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany. It is a tale of horror.

Read these books and join me in adding him to the list, which each of us must compose on our own, of the world’s . Hans Keilson is the author of Comedy in a Minor Key. Born in Germany in 1909, he published his first novel in 1933. During World War II he joined the Dutch resistance

Read these books and join me in adding him to the list, which each of us must compose on our own, of the world’s very greatest writers. A welcome reissue of a classic. During World War II he joined the Dutch resistance.

Hans Keilson; Translated from the German by Ivo Jarosy Read these books and join me in adding him to the list, which each of us must compose on our own, of the world's very greatest writers.

Hans Keilson; Translated from the German by Ivo Jarosy. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed "adversary" whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany. It is a tale of horror, not only in its evocation of Hitler's gathering menace but also in its hero's desperate attempt to discover logic where none exists. Read these books and join me in adding him to the list, which each of us must compose on our own, of the world's very greatest writers.

Hans Keilson was born in Germany in 1909 to a working-class Jewish family and currently lives in Bussum, near Amsterdam, with his wife, a literary historian. His fraught, century-long span has been - at least for English-speakers - only vaguely sketched in (not that there’s been much curiosity). He trained as a physician

Hans Keilson; Ivo Jarosy. See our disclaimer Mirrors are a repeating motif in Hans Keilson's novel, The Death of the Adversary. Written during WWII, this novel has been republished this year.

Hans Keilson; Ivo Jarosy. Mirrors are a repeating motif in Hans Keilson's novel, The Death of the Adversary.

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young . They had THREE copies of it.

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed "adversary" whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany. That should have been a warning sign, I guess.

The Independent Books. Hans Keilson, who died this week aged 101, first published this l novel in 1959. Not published in English since 1962 (and newly translated by Ivo Jarosy), The Death of the Adversary ends with a twist that echoes Keilson's own life. A boy grows up during the rise of fascism in 1920s Germany. He heeded the warnings, emigrated to the Netherlands in 1936, and joined the Dutch Resistance.

by Hans Keilson & translated by Ivo Jarosy .

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a. .It is never stated outright that our narrator is Jewish, nor that his adversary is Adolf Hitler, though there can be no mistaking either fact. It shows the minutiae of fear, anger, denial and perseverance that accompany life under the shadow tyranny.

Hans Keilson; Ivo Jarosy, trans. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010. Both of Keilson’s novels concern the war years

Hans Keilson; Ivo Jarosy, trans. Both of Keilson’s novels concern the war years. The Death of the Adversary deals with his protagonist’s denial of the consequences of Hitler’s rise to power, and Comedy in a Minor Key is about a Dutch couple hiding a Jewish merchant in their home during the German occupation of the Netherlands.

Written while Hans Keilson was in hiding during World War II, The Death of the Adversary is the self-portrait of a young man helplessly fascinated by an unnamed "adversary" whom he watches rise to power in 1930s Germany. It is a tale of horror, not only in its evocation of Hitler's gathering menace but also in its hero's desperate attempt to discover logic where none exists. A psychological fable as wry and haunting as Badenheim 1939, The Death of the Adversary is a lost classic of modern fiction.

Reviews:
  • NiceOne
'The Death of the Adversary' is a biographical novel, begun as Hitler was coming to power, completed after he died. Hans Keilson wrote about what he saw first-hand in Germany during the 1930s. He moved to the Netherlands to escape the Nazis and was able to survive after they took over. His parents were not so lucky. They died in Auschwitz.

The novel explores what it felt like to see a Hitler come to power. It gives insight into the perceptions and feelings of Germans and Jews as the Nazis altered the political landscape. Most remarkable is the idea that adversaries need each other, that there are indissoluble links between them. This is a theme that Keilson explores at length.

Hitler is not named and the religion of the protagonist is not given, which gives the book broader significance. A novel of ideas, it will not be to everyone's taste. It will, however, richly reward those who find its questions compelling.
  • Onetarieva
Hans Keilson, recently deceased at advanced age, was a German-Jewish refugee from Nazism. He eventually became a psychoanalyst and evidently had no aspirations to become a professional writer. His literary output, consisted of only 2 short books, both largely forgotten. They have recently been the subject of revived interest and critical acclaim. "Death of the Adversary" is the first of these books. It was written in the early war years and is a psychological-philosophical exposition of the relationship between an unnamed demagogue (Hitler, in fact) and a member of a persecuted group (the protagonist, who is by implication, Jewish).

Keilson wrote beautifully. Take, for example, this passage: "I am sitting in my room, looking at the houses and gardens across the street, while all kinds of thoughts pass through my head. There, at the corner, in a neglected garden, stands a big, strong tree. Its trunk is hollow, it is slowly dying from the root upwards. Every year, death rises higher into its branches and twigs. Soon it will have reached the top." Perhaps this is intended to be a metaphor for the creeping political and moral decay of Germany (the "big, strong tree") with its pervasive rot, starting with the aggrieved masses (frustrated, angry, unemployed, desperate), extending to the military (humiliated by the loss of WW-I, seeking a scapegoat and hoping for revenge) and the progressive, ascending decay which eventually infects the governing class. Equally evocative and obviously important to the author (having mentioned this parable twice) is that of the transplanted Tsarist elk herd, now dying in exile for lack of a predator (the wolves). Presumably, this metaphor invokes the need for the Jewish community to face a predator, an implacable and dangerous adversary, in order to survive and prosper. Then, there is the issue of Jewishness, itself: a simple religion or an hereditary burden? Keilson seems to favor the latter: "I hated him because he had tied the chain of the inescapable round me, as one chains up a prisoner. Futile to tr to free oneself. The sentence had been pronounced, but the guilt was his, Father's." Perhaps the most poignant and disturbing episode is the recounting of the grave desecration by a group of Nazi youth. Yet, these are all sidelines to the primary theme of the book; that is the nature of the relationship between the oppressor (B., that is, Hitler) and the unnamed Jewish protagonist. Keilson explores the nearly reverential attitude exhibited by the intelligent, romantic-tempered young man and the cult of the leader-figure, Hitler. Of course, this has been fodder for innumerable books, fictional and otherwise, but it is cleverly and insightfully depicted here.

Keilson was supposedly chagrined to discover that his legacy will largely be determined not by his academic work but rather by his brief foray into the literary world. It is probably not too presumptuous to suggest that "Death of the Adversary" will be remembered and read long after Keilson's professional labors have passed into the "dustbin of history" and that the book deserves the critical acclaim it has recently garnered.
  • Jairani
At 100, German-born Jewish author and psychoanalyst (among a variety of other things) Hans Keilson, was surprised to say the least when he read Francine Prose's glowing praise of two of his WWII era novels in the Sunday NYT book review. The re-released novels were "masterpieces", she wrote, the author "a genius". For Keilson, who fled Nazi Germany for the Netherlands in 1936, such praise is merely icing on the bittersweet cake of his life. During the war, he had been unable to convince his parents to escape the motherland early enough. Although they were able to defect eventually to the Netherlands, they'd been too old and sickly, and had never really been able to sense the gravity of the danger they were in. Keilson's parents were soon deported and died at Aushwitz; he still suffers with guilt to this day. In a recent interview in the New York Times, Keilson reacts to Prose's words by confessing that his scientific work in the field of psychoanalysis is truly more important to him in the scope of his life than any of his novels.

At the outset of one of those novels, Death of the Adversary, the narrator explains that the manuscript herein was given to him by a Dutch lawyer, who had, two and a half years into the war, obtained it, along with other important personal documents, from a client of his, an enigmatic German, a mystery man of sorts. The anonymous author had entreated his attorney to keep these papers in a safe place until such time as he could retrieve them. "Read them and tell me what you think of them" says the lawyer to his friend, the narrator, who presumably is a psychiatrist of some repute. The resulting novel consists of the fictionalized memoir of this mysterious German, in which he wrestles with the relationship between himself and the one he calls his "adversary", the enemy of his family, his people. This adversary, who is never mentioned by name, called only B throughout, obviously represents Adolph Hitler; and the memoirist's people, the Jews - a word, incidentally never used in his writings.

The title word, Adversary, is an interesting and careful choice since it is commonly an appellation of Satan, and would logically connote the paradisaical serpent along with Hitler (B in our story), as he seductively tempts his fellow Deutsch-landers, bending their will to the perpetration of genocide. This equation of Hitler to the devil would seem hackneyed from a less insightful writer, instead Keilson delves deep into the relationship between adversaries, exploring the magnetism that draws our memoirist to his innate enemy.

He learns from his parents at an early age of the rising charismatic politician, the bane of his photographer father and therefore of him. "Who was this man, who made it necessary for God to have mercy on us, something of which my father spoke only in a trembling voice?" he writes, relating his fears as a child. Later in his youth, he is shunned by the other boys on the soccer field. His mother, learning of this, marches him back to the sandlot and beseeches the children to include her child in the game. But after they let him play, he is still abused, and attacked on the field, made to play fullback, not allowed to showcase his natural talents of speed and agility. During one particular play, he decides to fight back. Leaping for the ball with the defender upon him, he kicks with full force, his leg connecting with the other boy. After writhing for some time on the ground, his opponent jumps up to confront him with "indescribable hatred" and "boundless contempt". This experience affects him, he decides never in the future to defend himself in the same manner he is attacked.

As our memoirist grows older, he becomes hyper aware of who and what he is and how his enemy, or the mere fact of calling this man his enemy, affects his relationships. A strong friendship goes awry, as he confesses to his friend that he has a secret enemy. "Why didn't you tell me about this before?" his friend asks, adding later, "...your enemy should be more important to you than your friend." After naming the enemy, he realizes the boy is likely involved in the Hitler Youth, yet he launches into a tirade against B, the first time he has unleashed his enmity. But it is through the subsequent discussion that he learns that he may have more in common with his adversary than he would ever dream possible. His friend exclaims that B has great ideas, that he only "needs someone an enemy or something, to achieve his aims". At the end of their visit, the Hitler Youth tell him a story about the Kaiser and his cousin the Tsar. After a visit from his cousin, the Tsar decided to present him with a parting gift: a herd of elk that had lived on the Steppes in Russia. The Kaiser brought the herd back to Germany, selecting a protected area in the country for the elk to roam where he felt they would feel at home. They lived there happily for a considerable time, but soon there came reports of the herds dying out. The Kaiser, upset with this turn of events sent word to the Tsar who dispatched a master forester to investigate the matter. He examined everything that might have affected the elk in their new habitat, and at the end of a year's investigation, he determined that nothing was done wrong relating to their feeding, climate, soil and so on. "So why have they died out?" asked the Kaiser. "They are missing one thing," said the forester. "Wolves." The Hitler Youth, implying that prey lose their will to survive without predators to keep them vigilant and vital, strikes a dissonant chord in our young writer, opening the dam of self doubt.

(spoilers)
By the end, our memoirist has, among other experiences: come face to face with his enemy, now Der Fuhrer, at an inauguration rally; has his convictions tested when he falls in surreptitiously with Nazi thugs; has aided in counter propaganda campaigns with a friend; and has even come to imagine the death of his adversary. He finally comes to peace with that great wraith that has thrown a pall over his entire life. What Keilson illuminates in the pages of this mere novel is more than just a study of temptation to evil, or of the struggle of good to prevail, it is of the very nature of the human spirit, its will, and dedication to purpose, along with its vulnerability. What the centenarian Keilson has produced here is lasting and profound, much like his own life.

~Book Jones~ 5 Stars