Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Five best books about guilt

Pascal Bruckner is the award-winning author of eighteen books of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bitter Moon, which was made into a film by Roman Polanski. His other books include The Temptation of Innocence and The Tears of the White Man (Free Press) and the novels The Divine Child (Little, Brown) and Evil Angels (Grove). His new book is The Tyranny of Guilt.

For the Wall Street Journal, he named a five best list of books about guilt. One title on the list:
The Trial
by Franz Kafka

One morning Joseph K. is arrested for no reason at all, brought before a court and, eventually, executed in a quarry: His ordeal has become a poignant metaphor for the experience of citizens in totalitarian regimes. In the eyes of the ruthless judicial system in Franz Kafka's "The Trial," Joseph K. is guilty of existing, no more than that; his crime is the very fact that he is alive. Nothing he can do can save him once he has fallen into the hands of the judges. The more he protests his innocence, the more he arouses suspicion. "Innocent of what?" one judge asks. "The Trial" (first published in German in 1925) is terrifying because the hero, without understanding why, begins collaborating with the machine that crushes him. One is reminded of the people convicted during the Moscow purge trials of the 1930s when they shouted, as they were about to be executed: "Long live Stalin! Long live the proletarian revolution!"
Read about another book on Bruckner's list.

The Trial also appears on Sam Taylor's top ten books about forgetting.

--Marshal Zeringue