The Kindly Ones has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: “Please, mein Herr, shoot the children cleanly.”― Jonathan Littell, The Kindly OnesSu. Les Bienveillantes de Jonathan Littell a créé l’événement de la rentrée littéraire Selon l’auteur, la portée du roman dépasse le seul génocide des Juifs. 78 Myth, Morals, and Metafiction in Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes [ PM LA and Littell has asked his translators to use in each language the name under.

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How should a novel encompass the Holocaust?

It is shocking, often disgusting, and you’ll have nightmares. The truth is that though many found shooting unarmed Jews, especially women and children, highly disagreeable, there was no great desire to step out of line.

Why did the Nazis insist on deporting the Jews of Hungary, very late in the war, when they could have used their dwindling resources more effectively in resisting the Russian advance? Art is always at some level entertainment, and the idea of being entertained, however skilfully, by this particular set of horrors seems inherently objectionable.

Above me, the ice formed an opaque screen, but the air lasted in my lungs, I wasn’t worried and kept swimming, passing sunken barges full of handsome young men sitting in rows, their weapons still in their hands, little fish threading through their hair agitated by the current.

The Kindly Ones

He’s even boring and repetitive when he goes on and on about his character’s sexual fantasies. It is to be understood, in a book like this, that there is due to be excessive violence. But The Kindly Ones never sets out to be the tale of a Nazi Everyman, a story of the banality of evil: In this argument the Nazis are a social cancer on the European body politic, something natural and at the same time something terribly diseased.

Mar 09, Andrew rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 17 comments. In the Caucasus he attempts to establish the ethnicity of various mountain tribes, before being wounded in the siege of Stalingrad. Having spent several years working with ligtell in Chechnya, Sarajevo and Africa, and having encountered a number of mass murderers, he uses this experience to explore the motivation and psychology of such killers.


As he admits himself at some point while standing over graves of murdered Jews: At what point do history and fiction jonatthan together and where do they separate? In this capacity, he becomes embroiled bienveillzntes a bureaucratic wrangle between Eichmann, who wants to exterminate as many Jews as possible, and Albert Speer, who wants to keep as many as possible alive to use as slave labour: It feels like the events could not possibly be true.

Review: Kindly Ones by Jonathan Littell | Books | The Guardian

In his first military posting in the Ukraine, his commanding officer asks Aue to “go have a look” at the courtyard of the Castle Lubart, where hundreds of corpses are rotting. Even straightforward exchanges are heavy-handed and bereft of fluidity. And several scenes of soldiers photographing their own atrocities inevitably recall Abu Ghraib. I wouldn’t recommend it to everybody, for obvious reasons.

Saturday 28 February Lugging this gigantic book around, from Omaha to Minneapolis to Dubai to Chicago back to Omaha, I began to question why I was reading it. The Russians are pouring into the city, bombs are bursting, mortar rounds are exploding, buildings are burning, bullets are whistling, yet everyone manages to come together for a final, bloody denouement.

See 2 questions about The Kindly Ones…. It will thus be interesting to see how this book is received in the English-speaking world. Pages to import images to Wikidata Articles containing French-language text All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from June Articles with permanently dead external links CS1 French-language sources fr Articles with German-language external links Good articles Wikipedia articles with BNF identifiers Wikipedia articles with GND identifiers.

View all 24 comments. This was because they found that their victims, especially the children, were not as dehumanised as they had been led to expect by their superiors and the propaganda of the regime.

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The opening T “A new War and Peace The page book became a bestseller in France and was widely discussed in newspapers, magazines, academic journals, books and seminars. At moments like this, the authorial detachment he cultivates with such magisterial elegance seems evasive.

Middle-aged French intellectual Jonathan Littell caused a sensation in with his infamous The Kindly Ones finally published in the US for the first time ina thousand-page historical novel which attempts to take the most complicated look ever at what turned a bunch of otherwise boring, middle-class Germans into amoral monsters during the Nazi period of the s through ’40s which, by the way, turns out to mostly be the same things that turned a bunch of otherwise boring, middle-class Americans into amoral monsters during the Bush yearschief among these reasons the culture of endless brutal public violence that was perpetuated in those days, said endless violence of which Littell faithfully reproduces in his own book, which is what mainly caused its infamy in the first place.

The evil that ordinary men can do

So what’s the most atrocious thing you’ve seen? But it is also erudite, pitiless and mesmerising. Jonathan Littell, born in New York in son of American thriller writer Robert Littellgrew up in France, was educated at Yale, and spent several years working bienveillanttes nonprofits in hot spots like Chechnya and Bosnia before settling in Barcelona.

While still on sick leave, he decides to visit his mother and stepfather in Antibesin Italian-occupied France. The eagerness with which Hannah Arendt’s line about the “banality of evil” has been seized on as holy writ is a measure of the intensity of this need. The first significant work of Jonathan Littell, Francophone son of American spy author Robert, it was an entirely unexpected success.