Sunday, November 10, 2013

HHhH's best joke

Chapter 146 of Laurent Binet's HHhH (don't worry; the chapters are short. The novel weighs in at 327 pages) begins with quotations from Seven Men at Daybreak, Alan Burgess' 1960 novel about the plot to kill Reinhard Heydrich, in which Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík were parachuted into Czechoslovakia to carry out the mission.  Binet does not entirely approve of Burgess.

There follows a long paragraph in which Binet works himself up into a righteous huff, proclaiming, detail by detail, how much his research has taught him about the fateful flight, working his way up to this:
"I know pretty much everything that can be known about this flight and I refuse to write a sentence like `Automatically they checked their parachute harnesses.' Even if, without a doubt, they did exactly that."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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