Monday, November 30, 2009

"Django" by Harlan Ellison

Okay, I haven't been posting regularly. . . again. Chalk it up to laziness if you want. You'd probably be right. However, I'm back to rectify that again, with four new (to me anyway) short stories by Harlan Ellison. First up: "Django"

What can I say about this story other than it is very, very strange. Inspired by the story of Django Reinhardt, Ellison writes this very bizarre story of French resistance member, Michel Herve, who, despite having two of his fingers paralyzed during the war, rediscovers guitar playing while trapped in an otherworldly dimension (think Cthulhu only stranger but less menacing). The strange other-world seems to have trapped him when the other members of this group all died while attempting to escape some German sturmerkommandos (German Stormtroopers, I think?). Instead of falling to his death like the others, Michel falls into this strange new dimension. I told you it was weird.

Now, to me, it seems like this story is entirely a metaphor for depression and the idea of finding something to live for. Michel, who has just witnessed the death of many of his friends, who is alone and without hope in an alien world, rediscovers music, which seems to give him a new lease on life. It seems a little obvious to me, but, frankly, it's still a very engaging story. Obvious or not, it's still a good read.

Oh, and while on the subject of Django Reinhardt, check out the Reinhardt inspired The Lost Fingers. They are truly awesome.

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