The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

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The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Liz » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:43 pm

Did you like the character of Katharina Blum? Why or why not?
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:34 pm

This sounds like a simple question, but I’m actually finding it difficult to answer. I don’t know if “like” is quite the right word. There are definitely aspects of her personality I really admired: her fiercely independent lifestyle – she depends on no one; the way she handled the cops – with an “I did nothing wrong; I owe you nothing attitude.”; the way she takes responsibility for herself and her actions, both before and after the murder. No excuses, ever. Gotta love that. But she’s not a person I could see myself being friends with. Murder aside, her precise and stoic nature I think would make her difficult to have a relaxed relationship with. She struck me as a very logical person, which is why I found it so odd that she was still so hopelessly devoted to Ludwig after she found out he was a wanted man. (I’m still wondering if I missed something there? From a character study perspective this is the one thing that didn’t add up for me. Maybe I’m not romantic enough :shy: , but then, she didn’t seem like the romantic type either. I'll trust nebraska on her opinion of the movie version of Ludwig! :ok: ). So I’d like to say I admire her, but I can’t admire a murderer. I think I’d like her more had she instead arranged for someone to break Toges’s legs, as might have happened in Chicago in 1975. :lol: I don’t know, this is a really tough question.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:47 pm

Ramblin, that was superb. Absolutely spot on perfect. Couldn't agree more.

I will come back when I am actually awake and contribute other thoughts.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:57 pm

I agree with a lot of Ramblin Rebel has to say about Katharina. I admire her strength, her endurance, her focus, her work ethic. She came from a really unhappy background and she took it upon herself to change her life and she has had much success. She is not completely without humor or the ability to relax, but she knows when it is time to work and when it is time to take a quiet drive. In my own life, I find that I tend to seek out friendships with women who have qualities that I admire, hoping that some of it will rub off on me, so I would probably seek out the friendship of someone like Katharina.

She made a serious error in judgement with Ludwig. I have actually met a man who had the kind of magnetism for which I would have sacrificed everything the first time I saw him. The problem with that is the first impression includes a lot of assumptions and requires assigning a lot of desired qualities to the man when in fact, the first impression may have nothing to do with reality. This instant devotion to Ludwig seems in contrast to the serious hard working successful Katharina, a chink in her armor, a sign that the unhappy child has not been able to soothe all the needs that have gone unmet in her past. That side of her would probably get on my nerves, but maybe I would find it more annoying if she was completely perfect.

On the whole my answer is yes, I like her.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Liz » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:19 am

nebraska wrote:I agree with a lot of Ramblin Rebel has to say about Katharina. I admire her strength, her endurance, her focus, her work ethic.

I admired her also.....for all of those reasons and for her perseverance and strength of conviction.

However, I didn't like her. She's not someone I would gravitate to for friendship. Why? Two reasons. She was stoic, as RR said. And she was like superwoman and wore me out just reading about her. I would always feel less than around her. Plus, she'd never have time for our friendship.

I agree with RR that falling for Ludwig seemed out of character. BUT that was probably the thing I liked about her the most.....her willingness to follow her own "personal legend" (see the book, The Alchemist).
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Buster » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:27 am

I loved her as a character - Boll got it absolutely right.
As a friend? Probably not. I admire her fortitude, but not her rigidity.
I deeply sympathise with her situation; my job is lowly, but I execute it with dignity and exactitude, grateful to be able to support myself.
It is Katharina's joylessness that I find repellant. I remember thinking that she'd probably be happy locked up - safe and secure at last, comfortable and no longer struggling to support herself.
I have to go to work, but there's a lot more to say :-)

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:28 pm

Back for more comment.

The thing is I found all the characters in this story more like something out of a morality play than real life. They are designed with certain characteristics to fit their purpose, which I think was to demonstrate Boll's thesis about abuse of power leading to violence. From this perspective then, Katharina's purpose was to be ordinary and almost invisible if not for the accidental meeting with a man at a friend's party. Thus proving -- "it could happen to anyone."

Katharina's exacting personality stands in counterbalance to tactics used by the justice system and the reporter. We "see" the characters then as proto-types and watch how they act and react against each other.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Buster » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:49 pm

Good point, firefly!
If we view the characters as archetypes, then the problem is not whether we like them or not; it becomes more a matter of unraveling the human condition.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Liz » Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:30 am

fireflydances wrote: From this perspective then, Katharina's purpose was to be ordinary and almost invisible if not for the accidental meeting with a man at a friend's party. Thus proving -- "it could happen to anyone."

Or to someone beyond repute. The last person you'd suspect. Excellent point, Firefly.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:33 pm

It’s been really interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on both Katharina and the Blornas. I keep thinking about what Buster said, about Katharina feeling safe and secure, no longer struggling to support herself if she were locked up. Maybe feeling stifled by the Blornas. Falling quickly for Ludwig, maybe even seeing him as a means of escape... I would not have thought of any of these things, and yet, it fits. And Liz, I loved The Alchemist! I gave a copy to my son a few years back. So Katharina... willing to follow her personal legend – certainly admirable! I’m really enjoying all these different perspectives!! :cool:

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Buster » Sun Mar 02, 2014 6:10 am

And, perhaps, her lost honor is actually that capitulation - giving up.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby stroch » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:25 am

I never saw Katharina as a real person, more of a figure in an allegory I really do not know who she is because there are so many tangled threads in her life. The way Boll dropped in facts about her past -- her marriage and divorce, her mother, her brother, the mysterious visitor -- made me even more unsure of her. Rather like the newspaper stories painted a false picture of her. Hmm. Im any event, as Buster said, her joylessness is off-putting.
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:57 am

Buster wrote:And, perhaps, her lost honor is actually that capitulation - giving up.
:eyebrow: Wow. Interesting thought.

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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby Liz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:37 am

stroch wrote:I never saw Katharina as a real person, more of a figure in an allegory I really do not know who she is because there are so many tangled threads in her life. The way Boll dropped in facts about her past -- her marriage and divorce, her mother, her brother, the mysterious visitor -- made me even more unsure of her. Rather like the newspaper stories painted a false picture of her.

Very interesting! Could he have done that on purpose?

Buster wrote:And, perhaps, her lost honor is actually that capitulation - giving up.

Equally as interesting. :-O
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Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #15 - Katharina

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:11 am

I think the idea of an allegory is probably valid, but I did buy Katharina as a real person, too. I worked with a woman once who was very driven in her job, never wanted to discuss anything personal, very private, didn't want to participate in gift exchanges or other group activities. Katharina reminded me a lot of that lady, so perhaps I more easily accepted her.


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