(PDF / kindle) Europe Central BY William T. Vollmann – stationroadsurgerywigston.co.uk



10 thoughts on “Europe Central

  1. says:

    Vollmann’s language is rich and strawberry cream creamy language that without too much ado could be transcribed into TS Elliot st

  2. says:

    Thank You Bill for Another God Almighty TomeAn Interpolation Upon an Enuiry by Steven MooreNow it’s for saleDon’t be deterredThis thousand page Half million word War effort hadTo be contrivedIn breath takingLarge scale detailSo it could beDesired asA maximal Unholy grail We college gradsAnd desk bound malesNow type awayInside

  3. says:

    The majority of my symphonies are tombstones ― Dmitry Shostakovich in William T Vollmann Europe Central We have a Motherland and they have a Fatherland Their child is Europe Central― William T Vollmann Europe CentralThis book THIS book This book reminds me of some mad Nazi experiment or Soviet torture grafting the madness of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow and the darkness of Littell's The Kindly Ones From the first ch

  4. says:

    455If you have no interest at all in learning massive amounts about World War II this book is not for you As a matter of fact if you are not in the mood for facts and uotations and references galore packaged in a semi short story fash

  5. says:

    Recommended for Vollmanniacs music history lovers The majority of my symphonies are tombstones D D Shostakovich Europe Ce

  6. says:

    This is a rewarding read about the conflict between the regimes of Hitler and Stalin over the fate of Europe in World War 2 told from the perspective of a broad set of emblematic characters As pointed out in the excellent review by Ian Vollmann carries over in this novel his deep concerns with the moral calculus behind violence as explored i

  7. says:

    ”All magic spells fail without belief We enforced belief” Europe Central is another monstrous book from Vollmann; monstrous in size content language implications critiue of humanity world historical analysis Let’s get something out of the way at the outset This book is a masterpiece horrifying painfully beautiful pro

  8. says:

    Put down on p221 I hesitate to write any sort of review as I decided not to carry on which is rare for me I have not for t

  9. says:

    A Thunderous Urgency Rumbles Through this Novel How Murder Could Seem a MercyIn his 2005 National Book Award winning novel Vollmann alternates narratives between Nazi Germany and the former USSR via Shostakovich At a frenetic pace despite its over 800 pages he demonstrate how these bloody totalitarian regimes forced their citizens t

  10. says:

    Europe Central William T Vollmann’s most popularly successful book 1280 gr ratings 165 reviews average starrage 388 conferrer of integrity upon the National Book Award for Fiction 2005 translated into German Italian Spanish French and Serbian not too badA few thoughts in my minor keyReading Europe Central after Vollmann’s newest book Las

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characters í eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ´ William T. Vollmann

Anne Slesin Europe Central Wikipedia Europe Central is a novel by William T Vollmann that won the US National Book Award for Fiction Plot It is set in central Europe during the th century and examines a vast array of characters ranging from generals to martyrs officers to poets traitors to artists and musicians It deals with the moral decisions made by people in the most testing of times and offers a perspective Europe centrale la mlancolie du rel de Patrick Michel Europe centrale la mlancolie du rel Patrick Michel Antoine Mars Antonela Capelle Pogacean Nadge Ragaru Note moyenne Donner le premier avis La Pologne la Rpubliue tchue la Slovauie la Hongrie adhrent l'Union europenne en cette anne La Roumanie et la Bulgarie y sont Lire la suite € Neuf Dfinitivement indisponible En librairie Voir la Central Europe Wikipedia Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of EuropeCentral Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe Southern Europe and Eastern Europe The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical social and cultural identity and is a patchwork of territories that are traditionally Catholic and Protestant CET heure exacte maintenant World Clock CET Heure Normale D’Europe Centrale est l'un des noms bien connus du fuseau horaire UTC ui est h devant derrire UTC Temps universel coordonn Le dcalage temporel par rapport l'heure UTC peut s'crire Il est utilis pendant l'hiver Pendant l't CEST Heure Avance D’Europe Centrale UTC est utilis European Central Bank The European Central Bank ECB is the central bank of the European Union countries which have adopted the euro Our main task is to maintain price stability in the euro area and so preserve the purchasing power of the single currency FLEUVE D’EUROPE CENTRALE EN LETTRES Solutions de mots Fleuve d’Europe centrale Fleuve d’Europe centrale en lettres Fleuve d’Europe centrale en lettres Dfinition ou synonyme Nombre de lettres Lettres connues et inconnues Entrez les lettres connues dans l'ordre et remplacez les lettres inconnues par un espace un point une virgule ou une toile Exemple P ris Pris Pris ou Pris Rechercher Afficher les autr. Put down on p221 I hesitate to write any sort of review as I decided not to carry on which is rare for me I have not for this reason given it any stars So the uestion is why WTV has got a lot of love from GR reviewers I respect greatly and the subject matter should be right up my alley Yet somehow I found myself growing increasingly irritated and continually thrown out from the text such that I uickly exhausted both my interest and my enjoyment I cannot review this book as I have not completed it However I can explain why I have put it down what it was in those pages which so vigorously rubbed me the wrong way To keep things short and simple I will just state the following 1 WTV has taken biographical information about some key and not so key characters from the period and inserted some invented elements of his owntaken uotes out of context etc This should not have irritated me as I have a fondness for fictionalised history and yet it did mainly because I knew the sources well enough to see where he had copied parts or invented things and as such it made it impossible for me to fully enter the text I was continually saying to myself wait that s not right or feeling that the characterisation felt wrong I also felt that it was his additions that were problematic in their content and reflected of the author than the character For me what is interesting about writingreading historical fiction is trying to inhabit an entirely alien and impossibly Other s worldview and failing obviously much of the passages I read seemed not even to bother to try this is possibly an overly bitchy comment and not really deserved 2 I found the sex scenes and the detail of language used within them jarring I have no problem with the erotic it is just that it did not work in the context 3 The prose was at times fantastic but was also often clunky confused and as far as I am concerned in need of some editing This comes down to taste and of course just as with music the fact that I did not like the prose does not mean it is in any way objectively bad 4 I found his conclusionscommentsmetaphysical digressions trite and unoriginal and I am aware this is unfair as I only read a small portion of the novel and much was from the perspective of the characters This may be harsh and it may well be that that points 1 3 above meant I was much inclined to notice and be critical of this 5 Finally he references and was inspired by the work of Danilo Ki DK is a master of precision and control and of the making new of the historical A Tomb for Boris Davidovich is fable like in its exactness in its meticulousness and concision EC is not From this reader s perspective WTV suffers from his own comparison in the same way as Lars von Trier did at the start of Antichrist when he dedicated the film to Tarkovsky However I must reiterate that all of the above is very much a personal response I respect the views of my fellow GR reviewers far too much to suggest that WTV is in any way a bad writer per se or that this book is not worth trying Nor has it put me off him in general I am likely to give both The Royal Family and Fathers and Crows a go at some point

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Europe Central

Europe centrale Wikivoyage le guide de voyage et de L'Europe centrale est une rgion formant le cœur de l'EuropeIl comprend les pays de langue allemande uatre anciens tats membres du Pacte de Varsovie ui ont rejoint l'Union europenne et la Slovnie ancienne rpubliue yougoslave maintenant un membre de l'UESeule la Suisse et le Liechtenstein ne sont pas minuscule tats membres de l'UE mais partagent des liens conomiues et Europe centrale Wikipdia L'Europe centrale est la rgion s'tendant au cœur du continent europenElle dsigne un espace dont les contours flous et variables ne concident pas toujours avec les frontires des pays concerns D'aprs les dfinitions variant tant selon les auteurs ue les poues cin vingt et un tats actuels peuvent tre considrs comme centreuropens Europe centrale dfinition de Europe centrale et L'Europe centrale est la rgion d'Europe situe entre l'Europe de l'Est et l'Europe de l'OuestElle reprsente un centre historiue de l'Europe ne pas confondre avec son centre gographiue ui se situe mi chemin entre l'ocan Atlantiue et les monts Oural Visiter les capitales de l'Europe Centrale Vire Malin Vous souhaitez visiter l’Europe central retrouvez ici l’ensemble de mes articles pour dcouvrir Prague Vienne Budapest Berlin Conscient ue certaines villes ne font pas partie de l’Europe centrale je les ai uand mme insr ici J’espre ue ces articles vous aideront organiser votre voyage facilement Dans chaue article retrouvez les parties ue visiter comment Pouruoi les pays d’Europe centrale ont mieux rsist au Pouruoi les pays d’Europe centrale ont mieux rsist au Covid ENUTE Plusieurs facteurs expliuent la faible propagation du virus en Autriche et dans les pays de l’Est Interpierre Europe Centrale cette SCPI ui promet de La socit civile de placement immobilier Interpierre Europe Centrale est la premire SCPI tre exclusivement investie sur cette partie du Vieux continent Son objectif dgager un Europe Central by William T Vollmann Goodreads William Vollman's Europe Central was for me a very slow burn I spent the first two hundred pages of this sprawling kaleidescopic epic on the emotional sidelines wryly observant interested but not overly engaged Vollman's charac. Thank You Bill for Another God Almighty TomeAn Interpolation Upon an Enuiry by Steven MooreNow it s for saleDon t be deterredThis thousand page Half million word War effort hadTo be contrivedIn breath takingLarge scale detailSo it could beDesired asA maximal Unholy grail We college gradsAnd desk bound malesNow type awayInside the whaleSo that we canAll adulateThe moral scope Of Vollmann s taleHence we honourIts mighty lengthAnd shower itWith lavish praise A Novel Calculus Europe Central followed closely on the heels of Rising Up and Rising Down Vollmann s analysis of the moral calculus of violencePart of the non fiction work applied the calculus to the specific circumstances of several persons of interestThis novel assuming that is a correct descriptor takes real life peopleparticipants and uses them to construct a narrative about real life events most of which are the most pivotal events of the twentieth centuryIt is a huge and hugely ambitious creative and interpretative exercise if not necessarily or strictly only an exercise in fictionIt has in common with a documentary re enactment than most literary fiction Like a documentary we might know some or all of the facts what matters is how the issues are personalised and presented to us I suppose that when one dedicates oneself sincerely enough to anything one personalises itYou can think of this novel as a panoramic film in full technicolorNone of this is intended as a criticism If there is any meaningful role for Post Modernism one would be to blur the distinction between fiction and realityFictionalised HistoryThe historical aspects of the novel are thoroughly researched by Vollmann and his assistants shades of Andy Warhol and therefore presumably reliable except where he identifies otherwise in the notes and comments or where he allows himself the freedom of historical or moral judgementYou don t need to have much or any prior knowledge of the events portrayed in the novel to appreciate their significance or the writing Vollmann places us in the heart of the relevant action All we have to respect is the importance of these events in world history If there ever comes a time when their primacy fades may the gods help civilisation on earthThat said in the fictional aspects of the reconstruction Vollmann can t help but inject a few of his own preoccupations against the historical evidence and it is here that the novel is weakest and occasionally most gratuitous but of that later It is a relatively minor personal gripe and one that didn t ultimately detract from my enjoyment of the novelDoppelg nger States Non Fraternal Non Identical TwinsThe narrative structure of Europe Central explores a parallelism between World War II Germany and the Soviet UnionPretty soon you realise that there is little difference in the social and personal dynamics in each nation despite their vastly different socio political systems Ultimately they are both well ordered zones Centralised power works the same way everywhere Vollmann recognises that this point has already been made by Vassily Grossman in his novel Life and FateHitlerStalin wield absolute power with limited input by those around them Nobody is prepared to uestion or contradict them for fear of reprisal and reprisal means death In the case of Germany Fate has sent Germany a great genius Adolf Hitler We must obey his willIn the case of Stalin It s not enough to love Soviet power Soviet power must also love youHitlerStalin take ultimate responsibility for everything Vision strategy tactics execution Especially executionGargantuan and Panzercruel StruggleOnce Hitler revoked the Non Aggression Pact in June 1941 Germany and the Soviet Union were destined to fight to the death if not with the assistance of allies then alone The success of one state and political system would inevitably mean the extinguishment of the otherGermany had conuered most of continental Europe Britain was under attack The United States had not entered the warChurchill was reluctant to start a new western front on the continent forcing Stalin to fight off Hitler without support If Germany had prevailed it would have meant the end of Communism However if the Soviet Union could prevail it would mean the end of Fascism The Anglo American nations thought they could sit back and wait for the resultCapitalism Tries to Crash the PartyOnly when Stalin got the upper hand at Stalingrad and started the march to Berlin did the Allies realise that they would lose Europe to Soviet Communism if they didn t initiate Operation Overlord at Normandy The Soviets have a Motherland and the Germans have a Fatherland Their child is Europe CentralCommunism in Europe would have meant the loss of a market for Anglo American goods and services on the continent Normandy occurred only when it became necessary to protect capitalist interestsThus Normandy wasn t primarily one part of a two pronged attack on Germany but a preemptive attempt to avoid the global revolution that might have resulted from the successful self defence of the Soviet UnionFirelit RaptureVollmann personalises the moral issues by focussing on the lives and dilemmas of a number of key players on both sides of the ideological divide Ironically both Fascism and Communism purported to usher in a new cultural era one which in the words of Heidegger would reuire the old to be burned in order to make way for the new The Volk the People the Proletariat looked on in firelit raptureVollmann explains the moral purpose of the novel in terms of parable These stories are not as rigorously grounded in historical fact as my Seven Dreams books Rather the goal here was to write a series of parables about famous infamous and anonymous European moral actors at moments of decision Some of the protagonists are military others are creative musicians sculptors poets and translatorsUnder both ideologies individual freedom is compromised ostensibly in the interests of the collective This might be understandable in the context of the war effort or attempts to defend against a civil war or rebuff a counter revolution However arguably it would not be tolerable in a modern western pluralistic democracy during a time of peaceAnswering the CallVollmann uses the black cabled tentacles of the cephalopodic telephone network not just as a vehicle for communication but as a symbol of the centralisation of political culture and the enforcement of social conformityTotalitarianism emphasises collective duty at the expense of personal liberty Vollmann speculates that people start to content themselves with the role of servant rather than aspiring to be their own master To regard the fulfillment of duty rather than personal responsibility as the highest virtue indicates a primal need for yielding oneself upIn the armed forces there are command structures that ensure that obedience to authority occurs subject now to the rejection of the Nuremberg defence Civilians are safe as long as they keep their head down and don t transgressHowever intellectuals and artists are the most problematical They tend to be individualistic and non conformist Vollmann shows us two cultures and contexts in which individualists must bow to the collective or face dire conseuences Thus we see Socialist Realism being imposed in the Soviet Union while in Germany we see the Nazis attacking Degenerate Art At least in wartime outliers are pulled back into the herd Those who won t or don t comply are ostracised abandoned exiled andor liuidatedShostakovich s Threat to Cultural HarmonyRepresentative of the creative dilemma is the composer Shostakovich In the absence of words you would think that music would be harder to judge in terms of ideological conformity However Shostakovich s formal innovation sees him described as a selfish and anti democratic individualist a free spirit a formalist a revisionist a right wing deviationist This gets to the root of what makes intellectuals dangerous We use them to add newness to life which is what keeps it bearable but newness shouldn t mutate into utter alienationDespite his popularity with the public Shostakovich becomes alienated from authority He fails to toe the Party line He is seen as preoccupied with the expression of self His compositions are out of harmony with the remainder of the Party credentialled fraternity His works are doubly dissonant and disharmoniousWhistle Blower to the HolocaustOne of the German parallels to Shostakovich is the SS officer Kurt Gerstein a technician who leaks to the Church and the Swiss Consul evidence of the methods of the Holocaust that he is partly responsible for administering It s not disclosed just how much reliable intelligence the West acuired about the Holocaust before the end of the War Whatever the West took no credible action Gerstein s whistle blowing attempts weren t appreciated and tragically for him did not avoid the death penalty being imposed on him by the AlliesImaginary Love TrianglesPerhaps Vollmann s greatest creative contribution to the historical narrative is his extrapolation of the sex lives of several of the protagonists In most cases he acknowledges that his speculation is pure fiction Indeed he posits that the key emotional and sexual relationship between Shostakovich and Elena continued throughout the rest of their lives notwithstanding common ground that it lasted only for a short period relatively early in their livesDespite the amount of space devoted to Shostakovich I think Elena is the pre eminent character of the novel In many ways Europe Central is the story of a woman if not the women of Europe Europa ist Elena berhaupt She is one third of two separate love triangles one a heterosexual relationship with two males and the other a lesbian relationship with two womenVollmann s women occupy numerous roles they oscillate between Joan of Arc virgin whore artist activist translator partisan judge and executioner Do you ever feel that there s a woman somewhere at the centre of things a goddessMen are trapped in their world of power and aggression Vollmann represents women as some kind of way out a pathway to individual authenticity His design for the novel might even be similar to Shostakovich s perception of his music It s abouthow love could have been if the world weren t full of vile thingsI sometimes feel that my love for her is the only thing that s genuine about meLove and DeathThis exploration of love as well as tenderness balances the overwhelming detail about the war in the novelHowever it also contributes a nuanced tone to Vollmann s normal subject matter and styleOf course Vollmann being Vollmann he occasionally goes overboard in how he deals with the sexual subject matter At times it just seemed to be gratuitous For example I couldn t work out how uite explicit private acts between the protagonists could be related by the voyeuristic agent Comrade Alexandrov even though as far as I could determine he can t possibly have witnessed them I assume he wasn t just sexing up the security filesStill my concerns about this aspect of the writing didn t detract from the substance of the novel my enjoyment of it or a sense that it deserved both the National Book Award and five starsDon t let the war setting or the length of the novel deter you This is one of the great novels about the twentieth centuryADDED EXTRASAbandoned Draft First ParagraphEven then there was something about the nameless Asian girl Ah Kum Elena which rendered her an object of respect obsessive desire A young girl with jet black reddish blonde bangs it was she who returned his wallet manhood to him In the hallway of their apartment building he kissed her cheeks lips nipples He wanted to tell her that her earlobes breasts were as white and sweet as saccharin Viasma gingerbread Minutes later in her bedroom his manhood love agony and strangely erotic pain detonated inside her him Something came alive in the next room It was her the suat black mother phone suid octopus The god of the Signal CorpsTischfernsprecher Schwarzes Bakelitgeh useApologies to Van MorrisonWilliam we were downOn our knees in the daysBefore rock and rollhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchva2GpETreaty of VersaillesA vindictive peaceMakes for an even worse warThe next time aroundIron GripThe dictator ofA state under siege grips itLike a drowning manSoldier with a CameraOne can representUs all just as well as theWhole contains the oneLust in TranslationYou mustn t DesistFor I insistThat you ll be WitchedBy thisFunnyCunni LinguisticTrystBetwixtLina andElenaGender CentralVera Lina Nina ElenaEurope is womanDelicious as gingerbreadJust like ElenaZoyaRussia was ZoyaBetween the breasts of ZoyaIt won its freedomPost Modern Self Assessment by the AuthorYou besmirch yourselfWith ugly behavior thenSpeak beautiful wordsExegesisBasic formatNice exampleOf uotationFollowed by anExplanationLeading to someExcitationAnd a starryIncantationRounded off withAnnotationFootnote endnoteIbid op citUnd so weiterBill Vollmann Interviewed by Tony Dushane for Bookslut You know in Europe Central it s too easy just to say Oh the Nazis were terrible the Stalinists were awful And that s true but where do you go from there If you can realize the deeper truth which is not only that were they terrible but if I were born in that time and place I probably would ve been one And even if I resisted with all my being I would still have characteristics of one no matter what I didhttpwwwbookslutcomfeatures2005Fanya Kapl n s attempt to assassin Lenin on August 30 1918 IhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvdIfl1Fanny was executed without trial on September 3 1918Fanya Kapl n s attempt to assassin Lenin IIhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchvtDpiXCreated by 1618 Films at Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007Fanya Kapl n s attempt to assassin Lenin IIIhttpswwwyoutubecomwatchv9eiNPGerman anti war artist K the Kollwitzhttpdearkitty1wordpresscom2014The Execution of ZoyaVollmann or his grubby voyeuristic amanuensis Comrade Alexandrov describes this photo of Zoya after her hanging as one which presents to us her naked corpse in the snow her head arched back as if in sexual ecstasySOUNDTRACKKeith Jarrett Prelude and Fugue No 7 in A major Dmitri Shostakovich

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Ters I thought were intriguing but also annoying His prose was full of vivid detail but a bit overblown It was the kind of thing I found myself thinking Central Europe Wikipedia Central Europe is the region comprising the central part of EuropeCentral Europe occupies continuous territories that are otherwise sometimes considered parts of Western Europe Southern Europe and Eastern Europe The concept of Central Europe is based on a common historical social and cultural identity and is a patchwork of territories that are traditionally Catholic and Protestant Carte d'Europe centrale | TomTom CET – Central European Time Time Zone Currently observing CET – Central European Time Observes CET – Central European Time part of the year but not currently Currently has same time zone offset Europe Centrale Guide de voyage L'Europe Centrale se trouve comme son nom l'indiue au centre de l'Europe Elle dbouche sur la mer Baltiue une petite partie de la mer du Nord en Allemagne et une tout petite portion de la mer Mditerrane en Slovnie Les pays ui composent l'Europe Centrale sont l'Allemagne l'Autriche la Hongrie le Liechtenstein la Pologne la Rpubliue tchue la Slovauie et la Slovnie Europe centrale Wiktionnaire Europe centrale ʁɔp sɑ̃tʁal fminin singulier Partie centrale de l’Europe incluant l’Allemagne l’Autriche la Hongrie la Pologne la Tchuie la Slovauie la Slovnie la Suisse On y ajoute parfois d’autres pays anciennement domins par les empires allemand ou austro hongrois Vacances voyage sjour Europe Centrale Circuit Europe L'Europe centrale une destination aux multiples attraits Voyage en Europe centrale gage d'un sjour bien rempli De l'Allemagne la Hongrie l'Europe centrale abreuve le voyageur en mal de beaux paysages de nombreuses dcouvertes Entre les campagnes bucoliues les chteaux ui semblent sortir de contes de fes et les villes hors du Europe centrale livres Babelio Dcouvrez sur Babeliocom livres et les auteurs sur le thme europe centrale Histoire de la Hongrie de Mikls Molnr Danube de Claudio Magris L'Europe des Anjou Aventure des princes angevins du XIIe au Xve sicle de Somogy Le Legs de l'alchimiste tome Lonora de Hubert L'art de vivre en Europe centrale de Suz. Recommended for Vollmanniacs music history lovers The majority of my symphonies are tombstones D D Shostakovich Europe Central is Vollmann s imaginative take on 20th century s twin evils of Stalinism Nazism as witnessed during the horrific years of the second world war A book that wraps itself in Kabbalah mysticism Germanic myths legends is not your typical history book for starters you don t get to hate Hitler Most people will stop reading after the chapter Opus 40 wondering is this about the war or musical themes Brace yourself there s also full dissection of Shostakovich s Eleventh Symphony it all makes thematic sense cause this is a book where war sometimes is presented in musical terms music in martial ones Hitler after all presents himself as a Wagnerian hero the final evocation of Opus 110 brings into sharp focus perhaps the main thesis that in a repressive brutal totalitarian regime Art maybe shaped defined by the circumstances but ultimately great art transcends it thus while dictators like Stalin Hitler have rightly been consigned to the dustbins of history Shostakovich s music lives on Europe Central will give readers a new understanding into this genius composer s work to me that s the single biggest achievement of this book The narrative gives broad brush strokes of general state of affairs in both USSR Germany then zooms in on key personages to highlight those concerns so you get German Jewish artist K the Kollwitz whose work is exploited by the communists for propaganda purpose poetess Anna Akhmatova an aloof manneuin That was how we liked her Unfortunately her presence electrified any crowd To me this proves that we hadn t been sufficiently strict with her An aloof manneuin she might have been as still as water under ice but our task was to freeze her solid in this we never succeeded after all Akhmatova was the poet of Reuiem which I m sorry to say I ve heard on the lips of students prisoners prostitutes peasants and kerchiefed factory women and of course Shostakovich whom the Soviet State willy nilly made toe the official line but whose work remained subversive for those who had the ears to hear it Think of the condition of dissidents in China the situation in Syria you ll get a faint idea of what life under Soviet communism and German fascism could be like Almost makes one grateful for democracy There s a wealth of war trivia details to warm the heart of any student of military science but what s remarkable is the presentation of it juxtaposes the war narratives of both sides lets the readers see how similar General Vlasov Field Marshal Paulus moral predicaments are their ill clad ill euipped starving men dying because their megalomaniac leaders won t allow a retreat In olden times wars were waged by heroes who admired one another but found themselves forced by fate or blood revenge to do each other harm In our time we fought for hateful ogres against other ogres eually hateful From a practical point of view can t it be argued that nothing has changed Balance Stalin s Great Purge the Red Terror his Siberian retreats called the Gulags his NKVD orchestrated sudden disappearance of members of intelligentsia in Black Marias the mass graves Collectivization against Hitler s sleepwalking an entire generation of Germans into the abyss of madness the Final Solution and it s hard to say who s the bigger monster the writer rightly lets History judge themAs he says in his bookslut interview You know in Europe Central it s too easy just to say Oh the Nazis were terrible the Stalinists were awful And that s true but where do you go from there If you can realize the deeper truth which is not only that were they terrible but if I were born in that time and place I probably would ve been one And even if I resisted with all my being I would still have characteristics of one no matter what I did So if you were born in the third Reich and all you ever heard was that Germany was the greatest and the Jews were very dangerous and poisonous and Slavs were inferior and this and that maybe you could if you were really compassionate and brave throw some of that off But deep down you would probably still feel somewhat good about Germany You know you would still think oh Germany is a really progressive place and probably the rest of the world is a little primitive That s probably the best you could do Vollmann s narrative choice here is very interesting sometimes impressionistic sometimes surreal the narratives overlap the Russian narrator Comrade Alexandrov reminded me of the intelligence guy in Lives of Others do watch it but the German narrator was the tricky one a shape shifter a myth a ghost a Pynchonesue figure yes there s a rocket the narration altered so seamlessly from one to the other that you don t realize when it turned omniscient when dear MrVollmann chipped in Any book on literary fiction worth its salt would tell you to pay attention to what comes in the middle the heart of a book so to speak the Holocaust comes in the middle in EC but Vollmann doesn t go for your tear ducts there s no sensationalising or cheapening of this tragedy a few brutal sentences here there you get the picture This is my first Vollmann Two of my fav writers Graham Greene Joseph Conrad are hugely political but whereas Greene s world weariness is relieved by his humour Conrad s dominated by his moral vision I don t remember laughing while reading Europe Central maybe a chuckle here there but that s about it Vollmann is so deadly earnest he refuses to judge even though EC was written as a series of parables about famous infamous and anonymous European moral actors at moments of decision Also don t get me started about the repetitions after a while I stopped counting the line Elena you re lucky you didn t marry me Maybe he used it as a leitmotifVollmann turned Shostakovich into such a neurotic that at times I wondered if I was reading about Woody Allen The second half of the book runs at breakneck speed covering too much ground the division of Germany political reprisals in East Germany the Iron Curtain the Berlin Wall ending with the start of the Cold War it s a huge canvas Give this book proper time attention If I ve to recommend it to someone I d ask them to read the five paged Zoya chapter or the 50 pages Kurt Gerstein one called Clean Hands In fact there are so many powerful chapters here the last two chapters Lost Victories the loser s need for postmortem The White Nights of Leningrad where Vollmann the artist takes over it s so visually stunning remain in the mind long after the book is closed My interest in Vollmann was piued when I read in an article that he made DFW insecure that the latter envied his prolific output Wallace was constrained by his agoraphobia whereas Vollmann has always gone to the source of his inspiration the Arctic the druggies the prostitutes May the wellspring of his inspiration never run dry And now your reward for reading this loooong review Feast your eyes on the chthonic heavenly visage of WTV Links for Europe Central NYT review Bookslut interview Empathy for the Devil More Tender But No Less Ambitious William T Vollmann Opens a New Chapter in His Already Prolific Career With Europe Central Balti City Paper Featured Author series on NYT William T Vollman The New York Times Book Review Contains discussion of most of his books A must readhttpwwwnytimescomindexes20040 WTV s profile on NYThttpwwwnytimescom19940206boo The moral euation of Stalinism with Hitlerism is nothing new V Grossman made that best in his novel Life and Fate Here it s merely a point of departure From Vollmann s notes on EC