Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Morning Warm-Up: Mother Night

Excerpt from Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

I've been loosely re-reading Mother Night recently, one of my favourite novels by one of my favourite authors, Kurt Vonnegut.

It tells the story Howard W. Campbell Jr., his double-life as a Nazi propagandist/American spy during the second world war, and his displacement and isolation after the war. It's a poignant and tragic book whose famous moral is made explicit in the author's forward:  

“Be careful what you pretend to be because you are what you pretend to be.”

Revisiting the book time and again, I've come see the book also examines the power of convictions, and Campbell's lack thereof. At any rate, it's long been a quiet dream of mine to adapt this book as a graphic novel. This morning's warm-up will have to do for now.

The scene depicted takes place near the end of WW2. The Russians are advancing on Berlin as Germany realizes their war is all but lost. Campbell, whose wife Helga was killed in a Russian bombardment, is fleeing the war--and Germany--for good. Under the pretense he is headed to the Russian front, Campbell visits his in-laws one last time before disappearing to America.

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