How to Quiet a Vampire

How to Quiet a Vampire



The Pequod Review:

In Borislav Pekic's How to Quiet a Vampire, an ex-Gestapo interrogator (Konrad Rutkowski) revisits his Nazi guilt 22 years later in a series of letters to his brother-in-law. The vampire in this book isn’t the supernatural kind, but instead Konrad's memory of the past:

Tomorrow is what makes me human; yesterday is what makes me a corpse. The mistake was reviving something I should have taken long ago and buried forever. Our problem is not how to revive, but how to quiet our vampires. THE PAST IS A VAMPIRE AND THE REAL QUESTION IS HOW TO QUIET IT FOREVER.

Konrad recounts his actions that included beating a prisoner to death and bungling an interrogation that led an innocent man to die. It doesn’t sound like it from this description, but the book is often very funny, and extremely philosophical. Meanwhile, Konrad tries to justify his actions using a wide range of Western philosophical views, most of which are wholly inadequate to the task.