Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sometimes, You Can't Win

In the best selections in “Psychogeography,” Self comes to see himself and the people he meets in new ways. He finds Rio de Janeiro a rainy, scuzzy city, even more “terrifying” than São Paulo, which he imagines is full of former SS members. So he holes up in a cafe and reads the only decent book in English he can find in a local shop: William L. Shirer’s “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.” Encountering a couple of “good-time girls,” he falls into conversation and discovers that they give everyone they meet a nickname. Do they have a nickname for him? Self asks. Gesturing at the swastika on the cover of the Shirer, one of them says, “We call you Hitler.”


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