Wednesday, October 28, 2015
The Nazi Doll Maker
The Sound of His Horn by ‘Sarban’ is a classic of the ‘if the Nazis had won’ theme. Its vision of a forest in which cat women and other human-animal hybrids are hunted for game by bland fascist gauleiters has rightly earned it a strong reputation. It is both a powerful work of the imagination and a profound study of evil.
But what about Sarban’s other major novel, The Doll Maker? Set in an English country house boarding school, where a young woman befriends an enigmatic neighbour who makes marionettes, it may seem a quieter achievement.
Not so, suggests Rebekah Memel Brown in her essay in Wormwood 25. This story is just as chilling a meditation on the Nazi mentality, she argues:
“…the novel marries a study of character with three key philosophic ideas summoned up by reflections on the life and death of Hitler’s Third Reich: the voluntary surrender of a person’s will to another person, the attempt to create an amoral artistic aesthetic, and the destructive effect such an aesthetic has on the creator.”
We should understand better what Sarban achieved:
“Within the context of a fairly straightforward supernatural novel, it examines broad philosophical issues of the nature of evil and of human ethics. It deserves to be much more widely known and widely read.”
To read in full this fresh insight into Sarban’s fiction, order Wormwood 25 today.
Want to know more about Sarban? Try the biography, Time, A Falconer.