You're not in Kansas anymore…

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum

Let there not be too much talk about blood here, since only necessary differences in level are to be regarded as inevitable; we would therefore direct the reader to television and the movies and the appropriate musicals  and gruesicals; if there is to be something fluid here, let it not be blood. Perhaps attention should merely be drawn to certain color effects: the murdered Totkes was wearing an improvised sheik costume concocted from a rather worn sheet, and the effect of a lot of blood on a lot of white is well known; a pistol is the sure to act almost like a spray gun, and since in this instance the costume was made out of a large square of white cotton, modern painting or stage effects would seem to be more appropriate here than drainage. So be it.

I apologize for the longish quotation, Flikers, but I just think Heinrich Boll has a brilliant style, and I wanted you to have a taste of it. Actually, I want you to have more than a tiny taste – I want you to read the book, this week’s Flik: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum, Or: how Violence Develops and Where it can Lead. Quite a title, yeah? Intrigued? You should be.

This brilliant little novel was written by German author Heinrich Boll and first published in 1974. It’s about the innocent little housekeeper Katharina Blum who incidently falls for a guy wanted by the police (We’ve all been there, haven’t we?). Being involved with this man leads to Katharina Blum being investigated by the police, and suddenly the tabloid media is all over her.

Basically, Boll attacks the tabloid media, and how it in the 1970s Germany worked itself up in a frenzy with lies, and thus destroyed the lives of ordinary, innocent people (Ah, Henry James would so have loved this book). It’s a book of just 140 little pages and it is an amazing and provoking read. It’s absolutely fabulous and if you haven’t read it yet, do it now. Now, I tell you! If you have read it before, read it again. That’s what I’m gonna do.

Love, Hanna


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