Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape of postwar Germany.When he falls ill on his way home ...
from school, fifteen-year-old Michael Berg is rescued by Hanna, a woman twice his age. In time she becomes his lover--then she inexplicably disappears. When Michael next sees her, he is a young law student, and she is on trial for a hideous crime. As he watches her refuse to defend her innocence, Michael gradually realizes that Hanna may be guarding a secret she considers more shameful than murder.
Onestamente questo è uno di quei rarissimi casi nei quali preferisco il film. Il libro è praticamente identico ma meno descrittivo, il film l'ho trovato più intenso e più chiaro. Insomma letture piacevole ma futile.
A fifteen-year-old boy, Michael Berg, falls in love with a woman twice his age, Hanna. He loves her. She loves him. It seems like an unbelievable love story, but in fact, they have their own difficulties that they do not want to share with any.Hanna
..." Hanna who turns out is a guardian in a concentration camp during the Third Reich. She is described as a brutal, hardened, and ruthless guard by others during the trial. To herself, she says nothing to others’ opinions. She refuses to defence for herself. She is always quiet and emotionless. It seems like there would be nothing could stir her up, except Michael. She especially loves to listen to Michael reading to her. She would be content. She would get angry if Michael left without telling her ahead (a note doesn’t count). She, Hanna, has feeling when she faces Michael.
Michael, on the other hand, is puzzled about Hanna’s behaviors when he sees her on the trial. However, Michael’s personality is similar as Hanna. He is quiet as well. He has friends and girlfriend. He even ends up got married and has a daughter. Yet, he has the difficulty to love someone from his heart. He does not know how to love a person other than Hanna. Every girl he has encountered, he would compare them with Hanna. The smell of Hanna, the touch of Hanna, the figure of Hanna, and the voice of Hanna are deeply rooted in his mind. He feels that he had betrayed Hanna when he was in school hanging out with school friends without telling them his love affair with Hanna. He carries the guilt with him.
As an illiteracy, Hanna keeps trying to hide her secret in her whole life until the last years in prison. Her apathy, in my personal opinion, may due to her ignorance, her lack of knowledge, and her background. She does not notice her doing is brutal to others. What she had done during the Third Reich may simply follow the rules. It is possible that when a person does not recognize a word, she may refuse to receive information through any ways. She may not notice that her country is trying to slaughter Jews. (Yes, I believe that is possible one could refuse to receive a piece of information which is well-know by all over the world.) She does not feel guilty at all. She only feels shame. The fact that she can not read and write is the shame she would hide for her whole life. Her simplicity and ignorance cause her into jail for over thirty years. Yet, she says nothing about it. It would not be better outside the jail, she may think so. It makes no difference to her. However, Michael is another case. He struggles in his own life. He carries Hanna with him. He feels guilty. He believes that he betrays Hanna and he is responsible for this. He, as a second generation of holocaust, has to face the pain, the history, and the responsibility of his country. He does not explicit his feeling, but rather wonder why Hanna would be such cruel figure. My guess that why Michael would be so confused and struggle all over his life is that he does not agree with the holocaust happened in his country. He as a German citizen has the responsibility to face the history that his father’s generation made. It may be difficult to imagine a second generation German citizen to cope with the pain that last generation had caused. Especially they have to carry their names with them forever. All the people who are familiar with the holocaust would recognize the names once they appear in any situations. People would judge them, ask them questions, and even worse, hate them. Though the pain would wane, the second generation could not escape the shadow that their father’s generation had caused to them. They have to find a way to face themselves, the society, the pain, and the history. Michael may relieve at the end of book when he decides to wirte his story. Though he could not surmount his guilt, he finds a way to live with it in the end. Continua...Nascondi
At the same time, I was sorry for her, sorry for her delayed and failed life, sorry for the delays and failures of life in general. I thought that if the right time gets missed, if one has refused or been refused something for too long, it's too
... late, even if it is finally tackled with energy and received with joy.Continua...Nascondi
Then she went to a shelf, raised her right index finger chest high and ran it slowly along the backs of the books, moved to the next shelf, ran her finger further along, from one spine to the next, packing off the whole room. She stopped at the
... window, looked out into the darkness, at the reflection of the bookshelves, and at her own. It is one of the pictures of Hanna that has stayed with me. I have them stored away, I can project them on a mental screen and watch them, unchanged, unconsumed. There are long periods when I don't think about them at all. But they always come back into my head, and I sometimes have to run them repeatedly through my mental projector and watch them. One is Hanna putting on her stockings in the kitchen. Another is Hanna standing in front of the tub holding the towel in her outstretched arms. Another is Hanna riding her bike with her skirt blowing in her slipstream. Then there is the picture of Hanna in my father's study.Continua...Nascondi
I remember my grandfather during one of my last visits before his death; he wanted to bless me, and I told him I didn't believe in any of that and didn't want it. It is hard for me to imagine that I felt good about behaving like that. I also
... remember that the smallest gesture of affection would bring a lump to my throat, whether it was directed at me or at someone else. Sometimes all it took was a scene in a movie. This juxtaposition of callousness and extreme sensitivity seemed suspicious even to me.Continua...Nascondi