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Story 2: THE RENEGADE 
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Atop the Piled Books


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Thomas Hood wrote:
It's the Patty Hearst syndrome. A captive who is isolated and brutalized may quickly take on the values of captors. It was called "brainwashing" in Korea. The same thing happens in cults. It explains why abused women and children defend their abusers. Probably it happened repeatedly in France during the German occupation.

It is more commonly known as the Stockholm Syndrome.



Thu Jun 05, 2008 9:20 am
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DWill wrote:
That's possible, although if the captors treat the captives with a modicum of respect (or at least not the outright cruelty shown by the Taghasans), that result might be more likely.


That's true of genuine conversion. (The narrator says--and I think Camus agreed--that conversion is more powerful than destruction.) However, I think here the narrator's fanatical mindset (what you called a "totalitarian mentality," DWill) is so eager to commit to any dogma, without reservation or reflection, that it can't count as true conversion. Tom's examples are apt; it's just easier when you're overwhelmed to box yourself into the given way of thinking. Camus seems to regard this as a weakness of character. I think that explains why the narrator's "maniacal focus" appears to waver at the end: that strength of focus really just hides the abominable weakness of a mind that's ready to cling to anything. That may also explain the last line for me; I can't help but feel that the last line is as objective a voice as Camus is likely to take on in this story, and it is full of contempt for the narrator's ultimately false convictions--like houses built on sand.



Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:10 pm
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Almost Comfortable


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To revise my last post: perhaps "full of contempt" is harsh, since I'm not sure an author would invest in a voice for which he could only feel contempt... But he does mock his narrator's conviction rather than admire it.



Thu Jun 05, 2008 11:25 pm
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The story is a puzzle to me still, but I like your ideas about it. Is it possible at all that the "slave's" ending is redeeming for him? He seems never to have possessed the spirit of love. Now, at his death (one feels) and despite his most strenuous efforts, this mock-Christ is taken over by the power opposite to that of the Fetish. But you're right, the voice in the final line doesn't give him much slack. My translation has "garrulous slave," too.
DWill



Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:16 pm
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It's not an easy read; now that I've read your comments, I can go through it again . . . sometime . . . not now.

Too much like work!

:laugh:



Sun Jun 08, 2008 12:05 am
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