Wednesday 9 April 2008

Nobel Prize winner

Finished April 9
Detective Story by Imre Kertesz, translated from the Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson
This is a short but chilling piece of fiction by an extremely talented writer.
The story is told by Martens, a man in prison. Martens was previously an inspector (aka torturer) in the secret police of a recently overturned dictatorship. He tells the story of a particular case: the surveillance, arrest, torture, and assassination of Federigo and Enrique Salinas, father and son. The voice of Martens is very neutral, except for those moments when he excuses his actions or inactions by saying he was the 'new boy' at the time. It appears to be his way of distancing himself from his role. I could see, in the final pages, the obvious reference to the present. It is a warning of where the path could lead.

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