Dusklands

Dusklands

Book - 1998
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"A megalomaniac Boer frontiersman wreaks hideous vengeance on a Hottentot tribe for undermining the 'natural' order of his universe with their anarchic rival order, mocking him and subjecting him to the humiliations of his own all too palpable flesh. A specialist in psychological warfare is driven to breakdown and madness by the stresses of a project of macabre ingenuity to win the war in Vietnam. Both the 18th-century Jacobus Coetzee and the 20th-century Eugene Dawn are in the business of pushing back the frontiers of knowledge and are dealers in death who denounce their own humanity and spurn their feelings of guilt. In these two narratives, Coetzee has crystallized in their absurdity and horror the extremes of scientific evangelism and heroic exploration"
Publisher: London : Vintage, 1998
ISBN: 9780099268338
0099268337
Branch Call Number: F COE
Characteristics: 125 p. ; 20 cm

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1aa
Jul 11, 2017

There are two novellas, the first of which is in my opinion the better of the two about a man who studies the myths of Vietnam and tries to devise a way make a plan to destroy - or to utterly subdue - the Vietnamese. Well, he ends up losing in the end (read it and find out!). I found this novella fascinating because I have already read several of the essays constituting the book _Weaponizing Anthropology_ by prof. Price (it is just a printed version of essays available on the website (zeroanthropology dot net (well, it used to be, now its a long review)), which is about (as the title says) using the findings of anthropological research for military purposes (and not just psychological warfare)). The second has exquisite moments of insight and meditation upon all sorts of things: how wonderful it is to live upon the Earth, the gun, mastership over others, and merely existing. It requires some work to figure it out (it consists of more than one narrative), but its well worth it.

c
cainsriver
Aug 23, 2011

two story's in this book....first is about Vietnam, the protagonist being a specialist in warfare, but who is not in the military, and works solely in the u.s.a., while living a totally dysfunctional existence with his wife and spoiled brat of a son. Great ending!
The 2nd story is about the Dutch Boer's settlement of s. africa (circa 1700's) and one man's cruel treatment of the inhabitants... somewhat historical

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