The residents of the lake house may be anonymous, but we glimpse enough of their desires to feel pain at their striving and loss; we feel bereft at the futility of their lives and our own against the merciless rhythms of time, of the earth. If Visitation is like a painting, The End of Days Aller Tage Abend in German is more like the view from a plane zigzagging through the skies over 20th-century Europe, creating a connect-the-dots puzzle. In , as the novel opens, an eight-month-old girl is buried in the eastern precincts of the Austrian Empire.
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As her mother throws handfuls of dirt on the grave, she mourns not only her small child, but also the girl, young wife, and old woman the child will never become. Then each lost stage of her life is lived out; as we bear witness, the girl, then woman, moves from Galicia to Vienna to Moscow to Berlin, through adolescence, adulthood, middle age, and at last old age near the end of the century.
Throughout the novel runs the volatile seam of preordained fate, the fate that comes with any tale set among the upheavals of 20th-century Europe. The child may have survived the dangers of the cradle, but history will not leave her alone. The earlier Visitation maintains a fairy tale-like feel throughout, a worthy descendant of the Brothers Grimm, who also trafficked in treacherous domiciles. Aller Tage Abend was hailed by German critics for its highly rhythmic prose, but the translator, Susan Bernofsky, has opted for an unadorned style for The End of Days , though one that nonetheless retains the sense of menace integral to any tale of predestination.
Her parents have a second daughter and the family moves from provincial Galicia to Vienna, where the father becomes an employee of the Meteorological Institution. But the family struggles, and when the Great War comes, they nearly starve.
The girl dies now because she must do so to fit into the established schema. The real disappointment of The End of Days is what feels like a devaluing of individual experience, the girl little more than a marionette, and it is difficult to be moved by the fate of a puppet. The protagonist suffers and dies five times, but her interior life and struggles are accorded little weight. The manners of death are instructive. Of the five deaths, four are unconnected from her will and desires: she stops breathing in her crib, she randomly crosses paths with a violent young man, she slips and falls down the stairs, and she dies of old age at a nursing home.
She joins a group of young people who feel themselves part of the great sweep of history as it marches toward progress.
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She marries a fellow writer, Comrade H. Comrade H.
Through it she hopes to show her ideological purity and fealty to the Soviet state; her husband has just been arrested, and she fears for his life and her own. Sitting at her desk in her Moscow apartment, she considers the urgency of her task. In fact, this is what happens. In the bureaucratic warren of the Secret Police, her autobiography, its pages slipped into a folder, is passed around as if by invisible hands. Comrade S. And on it goes. Her file eventually lands with an officer who is required to order a certain quota of arrests by the end of the month.
He goes about his selection process alphabetically, and Comrade H. Still, it could have been worse, for she is at the end of the list — the first 10 people in her group are assigned to the firing squad. A few days before the millennium, earthquakes and subterranean fires hit New York. He has come to town to meet his bride and to conceive a child, the antichrist.
Biblical prophesies have warned that if the Devil has his way with a certain virgin between 11pm and midnight on New Year's Eve it will bring about the so-called "End of Days. Jericho Cane, an alcoholic ex-cop now working in security, seems to be the only person in the tri-state area capable of saving mankind. Where is Mayor Giuliani when you need him? With Arnold on the case, who needs elected officials? Robin Tunney plays the spunky virgin in question who has been destined for this unholy union since birth. Kevin Pollack, as Jericho's mouthy sidekick, gets most of the funny lines.
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Gabriel Byrne adds a touch of class playing "The Man" who has devilishly taken over the body of a Wall Street banker. Great disguise, Lucifer! My favorite scene was the knock-down, drag-out fight Arnie has with rotund little Miriam Margolyes who plays one of the Devil's minions.
Oh yea, and that awesome dinner scene when Lucifer grabs that womans.. Start your free trial. Top 50 Highest-Grossing s Horror Films. Movies E.
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