I’ve been on a World War 2 kick recently, and have now connected it with the remains of the 2015 Reading Challenge. An Army at Dawn, the first in a nonfiction trilogy about the liberation of Europe from Nazi oppression, begins with the Anglo-American invasion of Africa. I’m halfway through to finishing my Pulitzer-prize winning book, leaving only “A Classic Romance” and “Title with Antonyms” as the only categories needing any real attention. This 1942 work skews my WW2 set a bit, as I’d been trying to generally follow the course of the war, but no matter. As it continues I’d like to poke into areas of the conflict I know virtually nothing about, like the Nazi/Soviet invasion of Norway/Finland respectively, and the early stages of Axis involvement in Africa. In 2016 I should return to the Great War, as the titles I listed last year will then be selling cheaper, or at the very least, no longer on the ‘new releases’ shelves and thus barred from interlibrary loan.
My WW2 kick has extended to movies, as well. In the last couple of weeks I”ve watched two titles new to me: The Scarlet and the Black, featuring Gregory Peck as an Irish priest hiding Allied P.O.W.s from the Nazis, and Good, the descent of a German literary professor into Faustian moral degradation. I bought these two together, intentionally; I knew Good would be utterly depressing, and needed some good old-fashioned heroics to recover from it. The central character is an professor approached by the SS: they liked his novel about a man who killed his wife to save her from a prolonged and painful death by cancer, and want to enlist his services in promoting the Reich’s euthenasia programs. Bit by bit he drifts into the Nazi camp, losing his wife and best friend in the bargain, until at movie’s he finds himself supervising a death camp, an SS-skull perched stop his head, and realizes that hell is real and it owns his soul.
..it’s a bit of a downer, so if you watch it I advise you to take my remedy, and follow it immediately with something inspiring or at the very least funny. As the theme of Good was that evil triumphs when good men do nothing, I had in The Scarlet and the Black a good man doing..something, and it’s a true story to boot. (It’s worth watching, incidentally, just for Peck doing an Irish accent.) I have a few more WW2 movies on the way, including The Battle of Britain, Run Silent Run Deep, and A Bridge Too Far.
This being November, I’m doing NaNoWriMo for the third year in a row, but it’s nothing serious. I’m doing a…video game fan fic with Maxis as my source material. It’s really just for fun. Honestly, in the years I’ve done NaNoWriMo I’ve not yet done a proper story. I just sandbox around for 50,000 words and collect my “WINNER!” graphics.
Well, it’ll be an interesting month, that’s for sure!