The Dry Danube: A Hitler Forgery
The Dry Danube presents Hitler's "memoir" of the years he spent as a failed art student in Vienna, just before World War One. Each of the book's four parts is a solid raving block of barbaric flourishes, free of paragraphing in its headlong rush of disgorged spleen."I wanted to get at H. before the violence sets in", West remarked. "But most of all I wanted to get the motion of his mind, as seen by another". Hitler spews his rage over his blighted career and his desperate wooing of Treischnitt and Kolberhoff, "proud famous painters both". He tries to befriend these "two men so important in my young life, yet so aloof from me". But he discovers that "I would have had more success groveling before a statue of Frederick the Great or Charlemagne". ("These men do not so much control Art, they are Art. It makes you sick to think of it".)A risky venture, The Dry Danube stands a triumph -- baroque, chilling ("This was not the last the world would hear of me"), and scathingly humorous at the same instant.