Tom's Reviews > Europe Central

Europe Central by William T. Vollmann
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Feb 26, 09

Recommended to Tom by: National Book Award
Recommended for: Yes, for a mature reader
Read in April, 2006, read count: 1

Europe Central demands repeat visits. It's difficult, to be sure, and may be nearly impossible for anyone not familiar with world history during the WWII years. On the other hand, I was inspired, after reading it, to tackle Inside the Third Reich, and to listen to music by Shostakovich.
I think Vollmann is concerned with the role of art and artists to influence the world in times of peril. He examines the degree to which artists influence, are influenced by, or speak out against terror and war. My conclusion is that Vollmann believes that artists have a responsibility to reflect terror through their art, but that there are forces in the world that not only seek to invade and destroy countries, but to assault free expression in the same way. This is Vollmann's cry to defend creative work in the same way armies defend their countries from invaders....
Of course, I expect to gather A LOT more after a re-read...I'm interested to hear what others think.
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