Sunday, May 28, 2006

Minutes 17/04/2006


BOOK CLUB MEETING – Monday, April 17th, 2007
Bermuda College Library - 10PM – 7:45PM
Present: Amin Smith, Craig Harris, Laura Sweet, StClair Trott, Willow Pearce

• The meeting began at 6:10PM
• We welcomed new member Laura Sweet to the club. Laura joined us as a result of reading the recent article on the club in the Royal Gazette.
• Progress of the Blog was announced. Currently the Blog is still under construction and in need of updating and refinement. However, the address has been shared with all members and comments and input are now sought and encouraged.
• Amin has selected the next book to be read for the following meeting. It is ‘Alexander II : the Last Great Tsar’ by Edvard Radzinsky. The book has been ordered and 6 copies are currently available at the Bermuda Bookstore.
• Discussion of our last book, ‘A Woman in Berlin’ by an anonymous author, was lengthy and engaging. It was generally agreed that this was a very powerful and thought-provoking book that was enjoyed unanimously by the members.
• Amin commented that the author seemed to be a sympathiser of the regime and appeared to look down on her conquerors. Craig suggested an explanation for this outlook was the fact that at the time of writing this book the war had literally just ended. Also the author had been indoctrinated by propaganda for several years prior to beginning her journal.
• Laura concurred with Amin. She pointed out that although the author often referred to collective experiences she seemed to place herself above people.
• The scene where the author’s attacker spits in her mouth was mentioned as one epitomising defeat and subjugation. Willow added that he has heard of this same behaviour used to subdue animals.
• Continuing with the ‘animal’ theme, Laura noted that there were many animal references throughout the book. References to ‘cave dwellers’ and ‘wolves’ emphasised the dehumanising process that the author endured; yet survived. In the end, like an animal, she was reduced to only feeling two things – cold and hunger.
• StClair was impressed with the amount of detail contained in the book. There was also some debate as to how believable this book was? Was it a forgery? The group generally agreed that the book was authentic but had obviously been written, and edited, by a professional.
• Amin highlighted the effect of these atrocities on women. Willow added his own recollections of life in Germany after the war, and the effects both physical and emotional on the country.
• There was ensuing discussion on the effect of the war on German children and their role as combatants. Parallels were made to African children who today are pressed into military service.
• In the ‘Page Turner/Page Burner’ segment of the meeting, Craig presented two books on Berlin: Antony Beevor’s ‘The Fall of Berlin 1945’ and ‘The wall: The People’s Story’ by Christopher Hilton. He recommended both of these books for anyone interested in learning more about the Russian advance into Berlin and the aftermath.
• Willow agreed to research and select the next book to be read.
• The meeting ended at 7:45PM.

84 Comments:

At May 31, 2006 8:37 AM, Blogger Rock Rambler said...

Craig ,Amin et al .Think you guys and gals are doing a superlative job and I hope to e-comment on your next choice ,as I do not live in Bermy currently.Reading groups have advanced fast and furious since the yesteryears of Rock Readers.

Would certainly have loved to be there and perhaps added a bit of a theme specific food and beverage element to go with the discussion.

Tony FERNANDES/LONDON UK

 
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