jeremy's Reviews > Konfidenz
by Ariel Dorfman
by Ariel Dorfman
it is dumbfounding that ariel dorfman is not more widely read, as his writing is so remarkably trenchant and unafraid. the exiled chilean novelist, short story writer, playwright, poet, and essayist has been teaching at duke university since 1985. his works are direct, compelling, and often characterized by a looming intensity or immediacy. dorfman is a relentless critic of imperialism, tyranny, and oppression, framing much of his art in the context of human rights.
private life is an illusion in our world, barbara. when you can torture one person, private life ends for everybody else.konfidenz is a novel written almost entirely in dialogue, an effect employed to lend the story a chilling effect. set in paris sometime in very late 1939 or early 1940, just before the nazis invaded france, the story confronts notions of identity and loyalty. much of konfidenz is marked by uncertainty, for both reader and characters alike, a quality that colors the whole work with an ever-increasing urgency. as powerful a tale as this novel is, it perhaps would have an even greater impact were it adapted for the stage, especially given its abundance of dialogue. while not dorfman's strongest work, konfidenz still resounds with arresting significance.
is it that he cannot bear the thought of a world where the soul mates he has chosen to live with and die for, these men who are the best and most fiercely loyal of their generations and who will die in the concentration camps of europe, could send martin to his death without a trial, without evidence, merely because he has dared to question their dogmas? is it that leon cannot conceive of a life where he has to continue struggling for that better world he dreamt with susanna by the side of men he can no longer trust?
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