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All that I am anna funder_08282013

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  • p. 201 Coram’s Fields and Russell Square, around the British Museum and back through Bloomsbury Square
  • p. 294
  • p. 294
  • p. 245
  • p. 252, 253
  • p. 358
  • Transcript

    • 1. All That I Am Anna Funder New York: HarperCollins, 2011
    • 2. Ruth • The little button, innocuous as an electric-blanket button, delivers the pethidine to me whenever I want it. They don’t bother rationing someone as old as I am. Après moi, le dèluge! as the French say. The stuff sends me in and out of parts of my life as if they were now, more real to me than this room. From what Bev has told me, an addict can lose ten years of their life in a quest for exactly this: the constant present tense. Afterwards, those who do not die wake to a world that has moved on without them: it is as if nothing happened to the fiend in those years, they did not age or grow and they must now pick up – with school, or people they loved – only time has shunted everyone on, elsewhere. 8/30/2013 2jgillis767@aol.com
    • 3. Ruth • ‘Any pain?’ He looks at me, pen poised, like a doctor on daytime TV, an underage actor cast to suspend disbelief. Next they’ll require me to believe in my own recovery, walk out of here as the credits roll for the century just passed, ready to combat the return season of terror in a world that never learns. ‘None that I can’t account for,’ ‘Pardon?’ He hangs the chart back. ‘I’m fine. Vivid dreams. That’s all.’ ‘Let me see.’ The hairy infant picks up the chart again . ‘Sometimes with more…senior patients, we recommend a mild antipsychotic along with the pain relief.’ ‘I am not hallucinating.’ ‘No. No, well. It’s entirely up to you.’ 8/30/2013 3jgillis767@aol.com
    • 4. Ruth • But that’s the thing, boyo, it’s not. This vast life – the real, interior one in which we remain linked to the dead (because the dream inside us ignores trivialities like breath, or absence) – this vast life is not under our control. Everything we have seen and everyone we have known goes into us and constitutes us, whether we like it or not. We are linked together in a pattern we cannot see and whose effects we cannot know. One slub here, a dropped stitch there, a bump encounter in that place, and the whole fabric will be different once it is woven. I look into his clear caramel eyes. Who knows what trace I might leave inside of you, boy? ‘They are all so real to me,’ is all I say. I still have a modicum of control. 8/30/2013 4jgillis767@aol.com
    • 5. Toller • “There comes to man sometimes a sickness, psychic or spiritual, which robs him of all will and purpose and sets him aimlessly adrift in a longing for death, a longing which lures him irresistibly to destruction, to a mad plunge into chaos.” 8/30/2013 5jgillis767@aol.com
    • 6. Rudi • A male voice was saying, ‘How can we allow this pudgy, cake- scoffing homosexual, this flatulent nailbiter, to represent Germany? But seriously, they say that the Leader is a teetotaler, a bachelor, a non-smoking vegetarian, as if he were a man removed from our normal, base desires, uninterested in satisfying himself. Concerned with only the wellbeing of the German nation. But we say he fulfils his bloodlust in other ways. You do not have to read Dr Freud to know that desire denied does not go away of its own accord. It warps and moves like a river denied its course, it flows on to drown other things. And in the case of Adolf Hitler, those things are us.’ Hans listened intently. Ten minutes later the voice said, ‘And I leave you, friends, till 18:00 GMT or 19:00 Berlin time tomorrow.’ 8/30/2013 6jgillis767@aol.com
    • 7. Characters • Dora Fabian (Walter) • Ruth Becker Wesemann • (Ernst) Toller - Christiane • Hans Wesemann • Mathilde Wurm • Bertie (Berthold Jacob) • Helmut • Lessing • Rudi • Jaeger • Hermann Göring • Paul Joseph Goebbels • Ernst Röhm • Wolfram Wolf 8/30/2013 7jgillis767@aol.com
    • 8. Ruth • His book opens in my hands to this: ‘Most people have no imagination. If they could imagine the sufferings of others, they would not make them suffer so.’ This is what we all believed. It is what he believed, I suppose, till he could no longer. Imagining the life of another is an act of compassion as holy as any. We drafted the leaflets, cyclostyled the truth. We told the stories on butter paper, in cigar canisters, smuggled them back into Germany. We risked our lives to help our fellows – there and in London – imagine. They did not imagine it. But Toller, great as he was, is not right. It is not that people lack an imagination. It is that they stop themselves using it. Because once you have imagined such suffering, how can you still do nothing? 8/30/2013 8jgillis767@aol.com
    • 9. 8/30/2013 jgillis767@aol.com 9 veritas