Friday, January 28, 2011

Review: Heidegger's Glasses

Frank, Thaisa. Heidegger's Glasses: A Novel. Berkeley, CA: Counterpoint, 2010.

Although I had some difficult finding my way into the story at first (I started reading this book last year and picked it up again this week), by the end I was hooked. A group of translators, rescued by the Nazis during the Holocaust, live in a mine and answer letters to the dead to appease occult-minded SS leaders. Into this improbable but telling story walks Elie, a "fixer" of obscure origins who manipulates the authorities to save the translators, here called Scribes, and Martin Heidegger, who seeks an answer and some glasses from his optometrist, who has been shipped to Auschwitz. The wide-ranging though rather brief story, plays on human emotions when confronted with unspeakable horror and nearly perverse absurdity.


Thaisa said...

Hey, Richard---so glad that you found your way through the book! Thaisa

Richard LeComte said...

I think it was because I started reading it last year when I was taking a particularly demanding class in a graduate program and wasn't concentrating sufficiently on the text.