Joost de Vries Talks about “The Republic”

In quite a lot of books, the narrator is a camera; he just observes and let other characters do the entertaining heavy lifting. I wanted to have a Nathan Zuckerman-kinda protagonist, who sets out and does all kinds of stupid stuff himself, is funny, is weird, is misguided, is in his way quite brave and adventurous. He does a lot of things I would not dare to do myself.

Joost de Vries’ The Republic

As the scholars of The Republic delve into Hitler studies, the specialized branches of research sprout increasingly weird. How about a specialty in Hitlerian pornography, or the sub-trend of Chilean naming of their sons “Hitler”, and how about a trip to Chile to interview them? Or a study of a fashion in Hitler moustaches?


I can’t explain to you how miserable I find this place, which pretty much suits where I’m at—I’m just a worn out, middle-aged cop with nothing better to do than drink myself stupid.