The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #18 - Boll's Message

by Heinrich Böll

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3166
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #18 - Boll's Message

Unread postby fireflydances » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:17 pm

If you open up to the title page of The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum you will see that Boll included a sub-title: "How violence develops and where it can lead." Why do you think Boll included this? What message might he have wanted to send?
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 28153
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #17 - Boll's Message

Unread postby nebraska » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:33 pm

I thought this referred to Katharina's shooting of the reporter and the motives she had after her life was destroyed by the newspaper. I felt like the point was bigger than that, that it should have been more about how so many lives -- not just Katharina's -- were ruined by the exaggerations and outright lies created by the press and the public eagerly consuming the "news". I also felt like the death of Katharina's mother was such a huge violation of ethics by the reporter and the hospital staff that it should have also been a focus. But I think there was much about Boll's writing style that I didn't quite understand, so if I don't agree with his statement of his message, it shouldn't surprise me.

RamblinRebel
Posts: 608
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Chicago or thereabouts

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #18 - Boll's Message

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Sun Mar 02, 2014 12:08 am

How long can a person be bullied – slandered, publicly humiliated, physically and/or emotionally tortured – until they explode?

Not sure if that's what he meant, but that's what I thought of.

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3166
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #17 - Boll's Message

Unread postby fireflydances » Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:42 am

nebraska wrote:I thought this referred to Katharina's shooting of the reporter and the motives she had after her life was destroyed by the newspaper. I felt like the point was bigger than that, that it should have been more about how so many lives -- not just Katharina's -- were ruined by the exaggerations and outright lies created by the press and the public eagerly consuming the "news".


I think he was referring to the bigger picture, how violence in one area of society becomes like a stone tossed in the water rippling a wake over and over until other ripples are created. I think Boll was extremely upset by the fact that newspapers like Bild thought nothing about the consequences of their flamethrower remarks. After all student leader Rudi Dutschke was shot on the basis of wildly inflammatory remarks in Bild that inspires a man to seek him out, end the threat, if you will. I think violence is like fire. Hard to control, hard to keep exactly where you want it to be.

RamblinRebel wrote:How long can a person be bullied – slandered, publicly humiliated, physically and/or emotionally tortured – until they explode?

Not sure if that's what he meant, but that's what I thought of.


Yes exactly. Violence isn't always physical. It's social, psychological, spiritual and it reverberates. We can only imagine what Boll saw during the war. He is so centered on this notion of unanticipated consequences, and the need for institutions to monitor their responsibilities to the wider society.
"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested." Sir Francis Bacon, Of Studies

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum: Question #18 - Boll's Message

Unread postby Liz » Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:19 am

I think that if you were a German living during that time or the decade before you'd probably understand this better. I also think that learning about Boll, Baader-Meinhof and Rudi Dutschke after the fact in tidbits helped me understand it.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


Return to “The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest