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And if disgusted by the German defeat in 1918, Adolf Hitler had emigrated to the United States? If he had discovered a vocation as a writer of science fiction ? If he had dreamed of becoming the master of the world and was inspired by his bellicose and racist fantasies to write The Lord of the Swastika, a novel crowned by prestigious literary prizes? Uchronia astonishing and terrifying parody Iron Dream is a termination without appeal and without ambiguity of Nazism.
What is the height of provocation for a Jewish writer? Write a book signed Adolf Hitler. " It is indeed the year in which Norman Spinrad has engaged in the early 70s. His book, "The Iron Dream" is a setting in abyss. Ie the principle of the book in the book because There is actually a novel written by Adolf Hitler, "The Lord of the Swastika". The story takes place in a land ravaged by a nuclear war. Feric Jaggar, a purhomme, returns to his country, the Republic of Heldon, with the intention to hunt all mutants, the mestizos and the rulers Zinda (symbolizing the Russian Communist nations). At the head of his party and his army of bikers, it will take power and implement a policy of racial purification for his country, then the whole world is populated only with genotype pure supermen. Found in "The Lord of the Swastika" whole Nazi ideology, the dream of domination Adolf Hitler, his xenophobia, his obsession with a pure breed. Everything that comes from Heldon is automatically associated with adjectives pure, perfect, genuine, immaculate, brilliant. On the contrary, everything that comes from countries infected by the mutants and mestizos is putrid, filthy, stinking. The imagery used by Feric Jaggar is spartan and virile. If at the beginning of the novel about "purfemmes" occur, they disappear very quickly. Even their usefulness in procreation is finally questioned. Besides that, the scenes of manly friendship with homosexual connotations abound. Phallic symbols are everywhere. Feric galvanizes his troops, brandishing his great club to four feet that he alone can raise. All this would be funny if the connection was not as serious.
There are basically two approaches to the Iron Dream. The first and most obvious, is to see this novel as a scathing critique of Nazism even though some stupid journalists have seen the opposite. This approach, although it is honorable, I was not convinced. It probably fits in an era, a time of life of the author who made this necessary. Indeed, despite not having experienced the Holocaust, Norman Spinrad had to grow with it, live with his bulky presence and permanent. His novel is probably for him a way to reclaim that part of his story. It also corresponds to a time when public opinion was rediscovering the Holocaust through the trials of Nazi war criminals like Eichmann. The problem is that ever Spinrad n'al'ambition explain the madness of Nazism, or to make any thinking on the subject. For me his approach is more akin to a self psychoanalysis where he exorcised his demons and those of a generation. Forty years later, his novel has lost its force or its usefulness. So when the time comes for my children to address this part of history, I will spread spontaneously works such as "If a man" by Primo Levi or "Maus" by Art Spiegelman and certainly not to the "Iron Dream".
The second approach to this novel is one that interested me most. In fact, through "The Lord of the Swastika", Norman Spinrad engaged in a fierce critic of some literature, science fiction and fantasy Station, nauseous to the ideology where trolls and aliens are exterminated simply because that they are not human. This literature easy and low-quality feed, consciously or not, even fantasies and fears the same as those used by all dictators in the world to secure the support of the people: the fear of others. And through this literature, Norman Spinrad also criticized his country, the United States, which until the 60s practiced racial segregation in its southern states. Give an award to Hugo Adolf Hitler and his openly racist and eugenicist novel is not insignificant. It's a way for Spinrad to return his country to face his old demons. "That was how the United States after the war," he says.
The purpose of the author is interesting. Unfortunately it is illustrated by a novel, that of Adolf Hitler, quite indigestible. History, 380 pages of racist and xenophobic delirium, interest is close to nil. The inflated style is a confusing poverty. The book is a succession of short scenes and outrageous delusions of racist, hateful descriptions of pages, battles television in pure and glorious army crushes Heldon vermin crawling, stinking and the hordes of mutants to defecate and urinate every turn. Frankly, able to read over thirty pages without stopping is feat.
So yes, yes, the "Iron Dream" is often cited as one of the best novels of Norman Spinrad, one of the best uchronies. Best, I do not know. I do not know enough about the work of Spinrad to judge. By cons, provoking, this novel is certainly. In fact, the "Iron Dream" is primarily a generational novel. For a certain age, he had to make the effect of an exorcism. It was a major novel in a process of rediscovery of the Holocaust. Today, his interest is debatable whether on the historical or literary. All least we can appreciate the stylistic exercise which has engaged Norman Spinrad. This is small for my taste.
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