Friday, June 21, 2013

There's a trick with a knife

I’m engaged in some magical thinking. If I stop here on page 518 of the Bonhoeffer biography, with 24 pages to go, he will not be killed by the Nazis. That’s all there is to it. The American troops are very close. The camp guards are unstable. Bonhoeffer is still alive and he will stay alive as long as I prevent his death by not reading about it. 

It’s funny how when reading a history book/novel or biography you might still feel a sense of suspense, even though you know at the outset what goes down. I knew in Wolf Hall, for example, that Henry VIII casts off Katherine and wins Anne Boleyn. And I knew before I started Bring Up the Bodies that Anne Boleyn would be a goner. Everybody knows that! But if a book is written well and the reader cares, the development still fills you with dread or anticipation. 

And, boy, do I care. I cannot let Bonhoeffer die. The world requires this small sacrifice of me - skipping his stupid, useless and deeply regrettable death for the sake of the greater good.


Anonymous said...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life was introduced to me by a person the Media likes to vilify, mock and misrepresent.


SarahJane said...

It's hard for anyone to find fault with the example of Bonhoeffer, no matter which side of any fence they stand on.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for not reading.

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