The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

by Heinrich Böll

Moderator: Liz

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

Status: Offline

The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby Liz » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:37 am

Referring back to Tidbit #2 and this video of the director & screenwriter of the movie

[youtube]VK692Bw1A38[/youtube]

Margarethe Von Trotta labels the story as the dual between good and evil and talks of the journalist becoming the devil and Katharina becoming a Madonna. She also says that it is an old idea of the innocence being a woman and the devil must be a man.

What do you think about this idea? Is there any truth to 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.

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29125
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Online

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:36 pm

My own view is that she is expressing her personal opinion of how the movie played out. Yes, the Totges character was very nasty and the Katharina character had an innocent expression for most of the film, but I didn't get a devil/madonna impression from the movie, although I suppose you could stretch it to fit any good character/bad character story.

I think it is more likely that good and evil are depicted by physical appearance rather than by gender. For example in the recent Lone Ranger movie, the evil Butch Cavendish was without redeeming qualities and he was very ugly, while John Reid who was pure of heart was extremely handsome. Heroines are generally beautiful women unless they have some sort of condition or deformity that is part of the story line.

User avatar
Buster
Posts: 810
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:07 am

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby Buster » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:09 pm

I guess she hasn't seen Ninth Gate

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 29125
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Online

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:21 pm

Buster wrote:I guess she hasn't seen Ninth Gate

Great observation!

User avatar
fireflydances
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 3266
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 9:15 pm
Location: under a pile of books
Contact:

Status: Online

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Mar 03, 2014 8:52 pm

I guess I would add that Boll had a religious sensibility that he carried with him his entire life. His parents, particularly his mother, were very strong advocates of the Catholic tradition of social justice, which was teaching about the rights of the working class back in 1891. So I think Boll looked at the world as very black and white, good and bad. There were things that shouldn't be permitted in the community of man and there was also the responsibility of each man for the well being of those around him. Rights and wrongs if you will. Clearly the journalist was on the wrong side -- his acts destroyed another human being, if not physically, very much socially and psychologically.

Perhaps this screenwriter has come at the story from that religious perspective. I do see the novel as a sort of morality play. And I for one don't see enough "meat" on the bones of any of these characters to regard them as fully drawn humans. They are stand-ins, actors that act out what is wrong with a society that permits violence in order to accomplish its ends.
"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 #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:01 am

Buster wrote:I guess she hasn't seen Ninth Gate

Good one! :lol:
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.

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 #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby Liz » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:06 am

fireflydances wrote:

Perhaps this screenwriter has come at the story from that religious perspective. I do see the novel as a sort of morality play. And I for one don't see enough "meat" on the bones of any of these characters to regard them as fully drawn humans. They are stand-ins, actors that act out what is wrong with a society that permits violence in order to accomplish its ends.

I think she was coming at it from a man vs woman perspective. Men are evil women are good sort of thing.
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.

User avatar
stroch
Posts: 1337
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:41 pm
Location: New Orleans

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby stroch » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:34 am

An even older idea is that of woman being the ultimate temptress leading man to moral destruction. The pure Madonna image is a counter to the insatiable siren. Not sure that Katharina fits that mold.
I'll buy you the hat....a really big one.
St. Roch -- patron saint of pilgrims

RamblinRebel
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 8:24 pm
Location: Chicago or thereabouts

Status: Offline

Re: The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum Question #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:52 am

stroch wrote:An even older idea is that of woman being the ultimate temptress leading man to moral destruction. The pure Madonna image is a counter to the insatiable siren. Not sure that Katharina fits that mold.

Interesting that perhaps Boll (as the narrator) paints her as a Madonna figure, but the police and journalists paint her as the lustful siren.

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 #21 - The devil and the madonna

Unread postby Liz » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:29 am

RamblinRebel wrote:
stroch wrote:An even older idea is that of woman being the ultimate temptress leading man to moral destruction. The pure Madonna image is a counter to the insatiable siren. Not sure that Katharina fits that mold.

Interesting that perhaps Boll (as the narrator) paints her as a Madonna figure, but the police and journalists paint her as the lustful siren.

Yes, that makes sense.
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 3 guests