The Castle in the Forest

The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer

Book: The Castle in the Forest by Norman Mailer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Norman Mailer
Tags: Fiction, Literary
given an exact recollection is equal to being present. So I also knew from the incomparable intensity of the occasion that the Maestro had actually joined with the attendant devil for one instant (even as Jehovah offered His immanence to Gabriel during another exceptional event).
    While I would not be attached exclusively to Adolf Hitler for some years, he was always in my Overview. So I am ready to write about his early life with a confidence no conventional biographer could begin to feel. Indeed, it must be obvious by now that there is no clear classification for this book. It is more than a memoir and certainly has to be most curious as a biography since it is as privileged as a novel. I do possess the freedom to enter many a mind. I could even say that to specify the genre does not really matter since my largest concern is not literary form, but my fear of the consequences. I have to be able to do this work without attracting the attention of the Maestro. And that is possible only because in these latter-day American years, he is more attuned to electronics than to print. The Maestro has followed human progress into cyber-technologies far more closely than the Lord.
    I have chosen, therefore, to write on paper—which can offer a small protection. My words may not be picked up as quickly. (Even processed paper still contains an ineluctable hint of the tenderness God put into His trees.)
    While the Maestro has no desire to use up any part of his resources by monitoring every last one of our acts—there are too many demons and devils for that—he is also not inclined to let us go on ventures he has not selected. Years ago, I would never have
    dared to embark on this written record. My fear would have been absolute. But now, in the inundations and engulfments of technology, one can try to steal a bit of secrecy, a private zone if you will, for oneself.
    Ergo, I feel ready to continue. The assumption is that I can succeed in concealing my output from the Maestro. Intelligence work can be understood as a contest between code and the obfuscation of code. Since the Maestro is heavily engaged, and his present existence is more arduous than ever—I believe he deems himself closer to eventual victory—I feel free to venture out. I have grown more confident that I will be able to conceal the existence of this manuscript until, at least, it is finished. Then I will feel obliged either to print it or—destroy it. This second option has always offered the safest solution (except for the near-mortal blow to my vanity).
    Of course, if I publish, I will then have to flee from the wrath of the Maestro. There are options open. I could choose to enter the equivalent in our spirit-life of the Federal Witness Protection Program. That is, the Cudgels would hide me. Of course, I would have to cooperate with them. Conversions are their stock-in-trade.
    Ergo, I have a choice—treachery or extinction.
    I do, however, feel less dread. By revealing our procedures, I can enjoy the rarefied pleasure (for a devil) of being able not only to characterize but to explore the elusive nature of my own existence. And should I be able to finish, I will still have the choice of destroying my work or going over to the other side. I must say, the latter option begins to appeal.
    Since I am unfaithful to the Maestro, I must show no sign. My modest duties in America are being performed impeccably, even as I offer these further details of the work I accomplished in the early upbringing of my most important client.
     
     
    BOOK V
     
    The
    Family

     
     
    1
     
    B
    y the time he was a year old, Klara called the boy Adi, rather than Adolf or Dolfi. (Dolfi was much too close to Teufel. ) “Look,” she would say to her stepchildren, “look, Alois, look, Angela, isn’t Adi an angel, a little angel, isn’t it so?” Since the baby had a round face, big round eyes as blue as hers, and a small mouth, and therefore looked to them like any other baby, they nodded

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