The Kindly Ones has ratings and reviews. Glenn said: “Please, mein Herr, shoot the children cleanly.”― Jonathan Littell, The Kindly OnesSu. Les Bienveillantes de Jonathan Littell a créé l’événement de la rentrée littéraire Selon l’auteur, la portée du roman dépasse le seul génocide des Juifs. 78 Myth, Morals, and Metafiction in Jonathan Littell’s Les Bienveillantes [ PM LA and Littell has asked his translators to use in each language the name under.

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What accounts for the attention? I suspect this may express something of Littell’s ambitions for his own monumental inquiry into evil. Want to Read saving…. Slipping slowly from unconcern to acceptance to assimilation to diseased monster, Max isn’t German or inherently psychotic or evil; he is Everyman.

Accompanied by his friend Thomas, who has come to rescue him, and escorted by a violent bienveilantes of fanatical littepl half-feral orphaned German children, Max makes his way through the Soviet-occupied territory and across the front line. Max is gliding at different levels high up in the sky looking down, almost more like a camera than a human, looking down at a huge city set out on a uniform grid, seeing thousands and thousands of blue-eyed men and women and children, faceless, moving mechanically through birth, growth, adulthood and death creating a perfect equilibrium which reminds Max of what an ideal concentration camp would be like.

The scenes depicted are well rehearsed in many other books on the Holicaust. The copious scatological and sexual references may strike some readers as excessive.

You will suffer no harm, but neither can you change anything that had happened. However, the writing is excellent and the insights on human nature, history and culture luttell. A page work written in impeccable French by an American, albeit one educated in France, was always going to be talked about. Paragraphs continue on for pages with little rhyme or reason. The Bienvfillantes Ones polarized both readers and critics all over the world.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. By the time Aue arrives at Auschwitz, this process of collective desensitisation has reached a new extreme.

The evil that ordinary men can do

Some critics fear that the power and influence of Littell’s book is so great that it will distort historical perception of the subject for future generations. Aue is interested in the potential philosophical justifications for the mass murder of Jews and regularly consults Plato. Our propaganda repeated over and over jonathhan that the Russians were Untermenschensub-humans; but I refused to believe that.


Bienevillantes the rest of humankind started destroying fascism from without.

Max is well-educated, enamoured with literature and music, he quotes from memory ancient philosophers and yet is dilligent and amenable cog in lityell, a valuable member of horrendous system.

View all 11 comments. Yes, some of the main character’s sexual obsessions will make most readers jknathan a bit even if they aren’t exactly squeamish.

Himmler soon recognised that one advantage of the extermination camp system was the way that prisoners, shorn of lttell hair and stripped of civilian clothes, were reduced to human livestock. In particolare mi hanno sempre abbastanza infastidito gli stereotipi tipici da film americano, il tedesco spietato che uccide per pura cattiveria, i campi di concentramento nati apposta per sterminare persone, l’organizzazione nazista un cumulo di psicopatici spietati e assetati di sangue, tutti gli altri buoni, eroici, innocenti e senza macchia.

This is one of the principle messages of the book.

I read it fast. The important questions, I believe, are what kind of point of view and what kind of voice does Littell’s Maximilien Aue represent, and how are we to respond to him as readers?

The Kindly Ones

Within months, Les Bienveillantes had soldcopies, had been welcomed by critics bienveillxntes the most important book for 50 years and had won the Bienveillwntes and Femina prizes. But then we forget the State is made up of individuals, all more or less ordinary, each one with his life, his story, the sequence of accidents that led him one day to end up on the right side of bienvei,lantes gun or the sheet of paper while others ended up on the wrong side.

Cruelty is contagious and civilisation fragile. The breadth of research on display is outstanding Littell spent five years researching and less than a year writing the book and the reader gets swept along in these rhythmic flows of gruesome insider information—blandly descriptive horrors keep the reader going through shock, acting as an unfortunate emotional catalyst. In its coupling of high culture with jlnathan brutality, his character seems premised on Celan’s line about the preservation of Goethe’s oak tree in Buchenwald: I should mention that Littell can’t resist inserting famous people into this book: The novel is also a gripping military adventure story and a study in collective pathology.


Perhaps this is meant to jonathzn the suffocating effect of the terrible events in the story, but the reader is just as likely to feel suffocated by the plodding style that Littell uses.

It’s certainly very disturbing – but Littell never excuses his anti-hero, nor does he in any way condone his actions.

The Kindly Ones (Littell novel) – Wikipedia

Also, there are endless mentions of poop. Once read, never forgotten. Jonsthan the other hand one does see extraordinary curiosities, which completely revise our notions of what our bienvelllantes bodies can endure. This chilling juxtaposition of beauty with evil might have worked better if it hadn’t been overshadowed by other stylistic choices. His first novel written in French, Les Bienveillanteswon two major French awards. Stattdessen gibt Aue den Weltgeist; und der ganze Reichtum an historischen Fakten, den er wie eine barocke Preziosensammlung vor dem Leser ausbreitet, ist reines Blendwerk.

In a more accredited person’s words: Para onde foram os teus vizinhos judeus de Moabit?

When Aue was just a young boy, his father, a German veteran of World War I, went to visit a relative and never returned. There’s little artistry in the way the research is fed into the novel.

In this respect the book rises impressively, even magnificently, to its own occasions, building out of its fact-crammed but stately sentences the impersonal prose resembles that of a mandarin memoir vast and phosphorescent tableaux vivants seething with Dantesque detail.

In the end, however, his highly problematic characterization and awkward handling of point of view make this book far more successful as a dramatized historical document than as a novel.

At what point do history and fiction come together and where do they separate? This view of Nazi bifnveillantes is certainly in keeping with the latest Holocaust scholarship, which has destroyed the “I had no choice but to follow orders” excuse.

Their commanders have difficulties holding back volunteer shooters.