Friday, July 16, 2010

Reality Book Report:

Just wrapping up Arthur Koestler's Darkness at Noon for the first time.

A fast read, but ominous; seriously heavy reading for such a slim tome. Definitely not the feel-good family hit of the summer.

To the committed revolutionary, the individual is nothing and the movement is everything. There is literally an infinite supply of bodies to be thrown under the wheels of the bus to grease its inevitable progress through history.

The title of Billy Beck's blog will now give me chills every time I click on it.


Gewehr98 said...

Bummer. The prisoner tap code wasn't supposed to be common knowledge, or so I was taught.

Just sayin', as a graduate of USAF combat survival school, myself.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Got to live behind the Iron Curtain for a short while. Nothing like knowing you are in a country that makes "unpeople" who never exisited, even though they were just in the Government a few months ago.

Ed Foster said...

One of the most important, absolutely seminal books I have ever read. It helped form me as a person.

Koestler was amazing. Even his death was classy. He was falling apart from Parkinson's and cancer. His wife decided she could not go on without him.

So, they went into Koestler's beloved library, had a glass of good port, propped their feet up in front of the fireplace, gave themselves and their dog a massive O.D. of barbituates, and fell asleep holding hands.

Koestler made his own rules in life,but they were brave and honorable ones. Quite a guy.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Ed, totally agree. I read it as a university student over 40 years ago, and it reshaped just about all of my political thinking ever since.

Should be mandatory curriculum content.

Borepatch said...

I'm also with Ed.

What is glossed over at the Academy these days is just how much the left hated him. The bit about not being able to tell the Nazis and Commies apart at the end was the part that stuck with me.

It's pretty amazing just how early he wrote this, before much of the events of the Socialist Genocide became common knowledge.

Joel said...

even though they were just in the Government a few months ago.

Hm. When you added that part, the "unperson" thing started looking not quite so bad.

Davidwhitewolf said...

Now on to A Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich, if you haven't read it yet. Similarly slim, packs a similar wallop. Whoever assigned those two books back-to-back in my freshman poli sci class at UC Berkeley did a good job.

Stretch said...

"The Longest Walk"
Has been proved to be fiction. Or at any rate not written by the man who claimed to have done so.
Short version: Polish officer transported to Siberia in 1939. Then escapes with other and WALKS to India. Inspirational in every sense of the word. It being declared false in no way demeans the lessons of struggle, sacrifice and heroism.

Billy Beck said...

It's one of the most oddly-named blogs on the 'net, but I think you can understand me now, T.