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Journey to the end of the night

Francis Stuart, one of Ireland's finest living writers, spent the last war in Berlin writing scripts for Lord Haw Haw. Jason Cowley visits the 94 year old writer in his Dublin bungalow and considers the relationship between great art and brutal politics in the lives of Stuart, Céline and Knut Hamsun

By Jason Cowley   February 1997

In George Steiner’s novella, The Portage to San Cristobal of A H, a team of Nazi hunters discovers an aged Adolf Hitler living in exile in a Peruvian jungle. Despite longing to kill him, they offer Hitler the chance to defend himself. His words are reckless, defiant. He taunts them: “I am an old man. My voice tires… You have made of me some kind of mad devil, the quintessence of evil, hell embodied. When I was, in truth, only a man of my time. Oh, inspired, I grant you… with a nose for the supreme political possibility. A master…

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