14 August, 2007

...And the rest of my holiday reading

A weird little book by Amélie Nothomb, Acide sulfurique, which was a satirical novella based on the idea of a reality TV show showing a concentration camp. I liked Nothomb's previous weird little fable Robert des noms propres but this bothered me a lot. Nothomb has a cruel, whimsical imagination, which didn't trouble me so much as did her discourse about honour and dignity in the concentration camp. I can't help feeling that in the concentration camp, an insitution specifically designed to remove all humanity and dignity from people, debates about the morality of, for example, sleeping with a kapo in return for bread are redundant. I also find the juxtaposition of the transcendently beautiful, serene and dignified heroine Pannonique with the ugly kapo Zdena rather unpleasant: why should beauty be at all important? [46]

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