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A Meal in Winter af Hubert Mingarelli

A Meal in Winter (udgave 2014)

af Hubert Mingarelli (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
19720103,473 (3.99)21
A miniature masterpiece, this is the spare, stunning story of three soldiers who share a meal with their Jewish prisoner and face a chilling choice.
Titel:A Meal in Winter
Forfattere:Hubert Mingarelli (Forfatter)
Info:Portobello Books Ltd (2014)
Nøgleord:Early Reviewer Copy, WWII, France, Poland, Historical Fiction, Holocaust, Novella

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A Meal in Winter af Hubert Mingarelli


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Engelsk (18)  Fransk (1)  Spansk (1)  Alle sprog (20)
Viser 1-5 af 20 (næste | vis alle)
This is a grim and grueling book, with overtones of "Waiting for Godot" and "Mother Courage". The narrator and his comrades are likeable enough, except for being Nazis, and the prosaic details of trying to cook a meal in the dead of winter makes them sympathetic, except that this is happening in the context of genocide. It's especially challenging to read now, when people in the majority white culture in the US are being confronted with their complicity in systemic racism: Bauer and Emmerich and the narrator seem like decent enough fellows, mostly concerned with eating and smoking and keeping warm and worried about Emmerich's son back home, troubled by participating in the murder of Jews; but they are unquestioning participants in genocide, trying to minimize their own complicity (better to hunt and retrieve Jews than actively shoot them!) but terrified of challenging their superiors in even small things, much less in the entire reason that they're stationed in Poland. It's a study in cowardice and humanity and complicity and obedience, in accepting one's part as a tiny cog in a giant wheel of evil cruelty and trying just to get by without suffering from too many nightmares for the compromises that we make. ( )
  mhartford | Jun 22, 2020 |
Short but good read. So much is left to the imagination. ( )
  3argonauta | May 6, 2020 |
This novella has been widely reviewed and was nominated for the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, but I am indebted to Tony from Tony's Book World for his recommendation.

It's a melancholy book, one that only reinforces my view that societies need to be vigilant about countering anything that fosters the dehumanisation of The Other. Whether it's the Rohinga in Burma, or using drones to kill enemies in an undeclared war, or closer to home on Manus Island, we need to guard against desensitising Everyman to the humanity of others. A Meal in Winter shows you what happens if you turn a blind eye.

Narrated by a German soldier during what is obviously WW2 in Poland, the story traces the day when he and his two mates Bauer and Emmerich go out hunting. In an ironic nod to the beginning of Solzenhitzen's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich the day begins with reveille outside in the snow. But unlike the men in the Soviet gulag, the men who yearn to stay indoors are not inmates in flimsy clothing leaving icy barracks where the frost lies inches thick on the windowpanes. No. These men are warm inside, and they have boots and scarves and gloves and woollen balaclavas to wear outside. They are perpetrators.

From their point of view, there is no need for the daily briefing to take place out in the bitter weather. They are irritated by their Lieutenant Graaf who indulges his own sense of self-importance by unnecessary displays of power. So they dawdle their way outside, contemptuous of their fellow soldiers who've had to wait for them in the freezing conditions. And as soon as Graaf's back is turned, they override his authority by visiting the Commander...

This detachment has the job of hunting out Jews and shooting them, but although anyone reading the book knows this from the blurb, (and hopefully from their knowledge of history) the nature of the 'work' is not revealed till later in the story. The tone of the narration is so blasé that some readers may possibly think that the hunt is for animals, perhaps to eat. However, this illusion is dispelled once the soldier reveals his reason for wanting to go out on the hunt. Graaf tells them that will be more 'arrivals' later that day and that their company would be 'taking care of them in the morning.' The narrator is at first sanguine:
" 'I had the same thought as everyone else: is that all? Couldn't he have told us that inside?' " (p.5)
But then he goes on to say that some of the soldiers could be expected to 'report sick' rather than show up for duty in the morning, and there would be more of these if there were many 'arrivals'. And he tells us that they are feeling the pressure of the work they'll have to do, especially Emmerich.

They tell all this to the Commander who is visibly distraught due to his role in the 'work' but the narrator's main concern is that he should continue being there, lest they end up with a new and less understanding Commander, or worse, with Graaf in charge.
" 'We explained to him that we would rather do the hunting than the shootings. We told him we didn't like the shootings: that doing it made us feel bad at the time and gave us bad dreams at night. When we woke in the morning, we felt down as soon as we started thinking about it, and if it went on like this, soon we wouldn't be able to stand it at all — and if it ended up making us ill we'd be no use to anybody.' " (p. 8)
At this stage what is being hunted and killed has still not been named. The reader has been reminded that as soldiers they have 'no choice' — they have to 'obey orders — and there has been an ironic attempt to enlist sympathy by stating that it took courage to go out in weather like that. The reader knows that it is a different kind of courage that is needed...

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2020/01/13/a-meal-in-winter-by-hubert-mingarelli-transl... ( )
  anzlitlovers | Jan 12, 2020 |
Al amanecer, en uno de los desolados inviernos de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, tres soldados alemanes se arrastran por los helados campos de Polonia. Tienen órdenes de rastrear la zona y volver con «uno de ellos». Tras atrapar a un joven judío escondido en el bosque, el grupo hace un alto en una cabaña abandonada antes de regresar al campamento con su presa. Mientras con sus escasos recursos intentan encender fuego y preparan la cena, se suma al cuarteto un cazador polaco cuyo virulento antisemitismo eleva la tensión de una atmósfera ya de por sí a punto de estallar. A medida que avanza la velada y las implicaciones últimas de su misión van perfilándose con mayor claridad, las lealtades y vínculos de unos hombres hambrientos, agotados e inmersos en un conflicto cuyas dimensiones y consecuencias están muy lejos de poder calibrar, se verán puestas en entredicho.

La complejidad moral y la elaborada textura dramática de esta sintética obra maestra contrastan poderosamente con lo escueto y directo de una prosa heredera de Isaak Bábel y Ernest Hemingway. Ciento veinte páginas tan memorables, tan oscuras y humanas que deberían ser leídas en toda Europa.
  bibliotecayamaguchi | Oct 18, 2019 |
A Meal in Winter – Strong and Simple

This novella is probably one of the most powerful short stories that I have read in a long time. The setting is somewhere I know well, in South East Poland and was happening early on in the German occupation of the country. When German soldiers were rounding up Jews, and shooting them, before the introduction of the murder camps.

Three German soldiers, Emmerich, Baur and the narrator, wanted to avoid being used by Lieutenant Graff, who enjoyed the rounding up of and the execution of the Jews in the locality. Every soldier had to shoot the captured the Jews, and this was deeply affecting these soldiers. They convinced their commanding officer to allow them to go at first light and look for Jews in the woods and village and bring them back to camp to be dealt with.

The following morning all three set out before daybreak into the frozen waste lands of Polish winter. Where the snow is deep, and the temperature are well below freezing and even wrapped up well they are freezing and hungry.

When Emmerich notices a hiding place in the forest they capture a hiding Jew and start marching him back to the camp. They are hungry and find an empty house which they use to cook the stolen food they have brought with them. Their captive is shoved in the storeroom.

As the three soldiers’ bond while waiting for their food to cook, a Pole joins them and brings some potato vodka with him. While they agree to feed him, they can see he is even more anti-Semitic than they are. They discuss how they hate what they are doing and whether they should release their captive. They talked about family and dreams, while waiting for their food to cook.

Once they had finished their food, the Pole left them, and they took their captive back to camp where he would face certain death in the morning. All because they were afraid what Graff and their comrades would think of them and that they would not be able to get out of the shootings if they did not.

Over the 138 pages we have a book that really packs a punch. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Jun 25, 2019 |
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Hubert Mingarelliprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Taylor, SamOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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A miniature masterpiece, this is the spare, stunning story of three soldiers who share a meal with their Jewish prisoner and face a chilling choice.

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Gennemsnit: (3.99)
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