Posts Tagged ‘Blographia Literaria’

Blographia Literaria

March 26, 2009

Andrew Seal at Blographia Literaria has two posts on The Kindly Ones. The first deals with his reactions to reviews of the book, the second his own review.

In his first essay, he points to how Littell’s experience working for an NGO in places such as  Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chechnya, the Congo, Sierra Leone, and Afghanistan is key to thinking about how genocide is portrayed in the book:

“I do not understand how one can simply neglect to talk about this aspect of Littell’s personal history—is it not the most basic background and most likely impulse for the writing of a novel about mass murder, a great deal of which was the result or the corollary of starvation? To ignore or pass over the novel’s overwhelming prevalence of malnutrition, hunger, and starvation in favor of some relatively isolated scenes of (nonetheless intense) violence is to miss an enormous part of the novel’s substance, meaning, intention, and effect.”