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The Dark Room

Seiffert, Rachel

ISBN 10: 0434009865 / ISBN 13: 9780434009862
Edité par Heinemann, 2001
Etat : Fine Couverture rigide
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First British Edition (first printing). The debut novel by the author of FIELD STUDY and AFTERWARDS, the well-received stories of three ordinary twentieth-century Germans facing the impact of extraordinary and terrible times. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Fine/Fine. Signed by Seiffert on the title page. N° de réf. du libraire 6660

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Détails bibliographiques

Titre : The Dark Room

Éditeur : Heinemann

Date d'édition : 2001

Reliure : Hardcover

Etat du livre :Fine

Etat de la jaquette : Fine

Signé : Signed by Author

Edition : 1st Edition.

A propos de ce titre

Synopsis :

Tells the stories of three ordinary twentieth-century Germans; Helmut, a young photographer in Berlin in the '30s who uses his craft to express his patriotic fervour; Lore, a twelve year old girl who in 1945 guides her young siblings across Germany; and Micha, a teacher obsessed with his grandfather's role in the war.

Review:

The Dark Room is a careful study of three Germans affected by the Second World War: Helmut the young photographer with the deformed arm; Lore the 12-year-old who manages to get her refugee siblings to Hamburg in 1945; and Micha the young teacher who pursues the truth about his grandfather's war years 50 years later. Micha is the most instructive in getting to the core of this book:

I think they should read about the people who did it, too. The real, everyday people, you know. Not just Hitler and Eichmann and whoever. All the underlings, I mean. The students should learn about their lives, the ones who really did the killing.
Seiffert writes about the "real, everyday people", about the ones who didn't actually "do it". She writes chronologically, from Helmut's birth in 1921 to Micha living in Germany in 1997, and widens the time-frame with each story.

Helmut is unable to join up because of his weak arm--his parents become ashamed of him in Nazi Germany. Yet by taking part in the last-ditch stand against the Russian invasion of Berlin in 1945 he is at last happy. His story, represented through his tiny photographer's lens, is indicative of his own narrow vision. Seiffert widens her view with Lore, and her encounter with Thomas, a young man who has blue-smudged numbers up his arm and (false) documents saying he is Jewish. As a well-off 12-year-old, whose father was in the Nazi Party, Lore too is at first oblivious to the effects of the war on others. She tries to believe that the pictures the Allies pin up of the Jews in the camps--whether alive or dead--are American actors. Micha's story, raking over the past and with the advantage of hindsight, well-documented history and the public German admission of guilt, feels the most raw and truthful. Seiffert writes delicately and plainly, making clear that it is not just the Jewish or Nazi experience of the Second World War which is valid, but that a whole country was involved, and is still affected by it. The Dark Room reminds us again that every person's experience is unique, and every person's heritage (whether German, Byelorussian, American or Jewish, Christian or atheist) will always be unique to them. --Olivia Dickinson

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