4 August 2015 – 14 June 2016Last summer, using the proceeds from trimming out of control shrubbery, I made a purchase: the German edition of Er ist weider Da by Timur Vermes.
Loosely translated as “Look Who’s Back,” this satirical novel places a living, breathing, authentic Hitler in present-day Germany.
We go into this knowing it is satire, and we find ourselves – by decades of practice – naturally abhorred by Hitler. Yet, something happens. We find ourselves caught up in the book and *gasp* laughing at Hitler’s cutting grasp of modernity. Is this right? Can we laugh with Hitler? Can we laugh at him?
Put another way, is the joke too soon?
I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer that.
I picked up this book to keep up with my German skills, and to that end I was successful. The book kept me on my toes with idioms and cultural references – it’s a good thing I’ve got friends in Germany or I’d have been utterly lost at some points!
Despite the nature of its protagonist (antagonist?), the book is satire at some of its finest.