‘The shrink kept nodding. “Why? What did you do at Buchenwald?”
“I worked,” Hilarius told her, “on experimentally-induced insanity. A catatonic Jew was as good as a dead one. Liberal SS circles felt it would be more humane.” So they had gone at their subjects with metronomes, serpents, Brechtian vignettes at midnight, surgical removal of certain glands, magic-lantern hallucinations, new drugs, threats recited over hidden loudspeakers, hypnotism, clocks that ran backward, and faces. Hilarius had been put in charge of faces. “The Allied liberators,” he reminisced, “arrived, unfortunately, before we could gather enough data. Apart from the spectacular successes, like Zvi, there wasn’t much we could point to in a statistical way.” He smiled at the expression on her face.’
– Pynchon. T. 1966. The Crying of Lot 49 New York, United States: Harper Perennial (2006) p. 112
I thought it irresistible not to share the ramblings of Pynchon’s mad Dr. Hilarius about a Liberal Wing of the Schutzstaffel.
I feel guilty about ‘liking’ this.
I know how you feel. Pynchon’s writings will do that to you.