Saturday, March 28, 2015

"The Empire of the Senses"

Alexis Landau studied at Vassar College and received an MFA from Emerson College, and a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California.

She applied the Page 69 Test to The Empire of the Senses, her first novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 from The Empire of the Senses touches on a few important themes of the novel, but the page itself is not representative of what the book is really about. This page, the beginning of Chapter 7, mainly describes Lev’s disillusionment with how the German army treats the native villagers on the Eastern Front. Lev observes the army’s brutality and corruption as well as the latent anti-Semitism that is expressed by a German officer who speaks to Lev in condescending terms. I suppose this page does reflect Lev’s main struggle—the tension between his German and Jewish selves. Lev is never fully at home in either identity. The page also touches on how Germany as well as Europe in general harbored the belief that Jews would always have divided loyalties (between their Jewishness and their Germaness) and therefore Jews were never fully trusted to act and feel as “real” Germans did, promoting a homogenous nationalist culture, which led to one of the main tenets of Nazism.
Visit Alexis Landau's website.

--Marshal Zeringue