To the Editor: Recently the original German manuscript of Arthur Koestler’s influential novel “Darkness at Noon” was uncovered languishing in a Swiss archive. It was lost as Koestler and his Paris roommate/girlfriend were swept into the fog of World War II. Koestler’s girlfriend, an English art student named Daphne Hardy, did a rapid translation and managed to get her translation to an English publisher as war closed in on Paris. A translation of the original German manuscript has now been published and is available as a paperback.
The book, a trenchant novel about the Soviet purge trials under the Stalin regime, graphically details the moral danger inherent in a political system that is willing to enforce its beliefs by any means necessary. In Alaska, Gov. Mike Dunleavy well epitomizes this hyperpartisan approach, while in Washington, the Pelosi/Schiff impeachment inquiry has almost totally abolished due process, thereby setting a record for the most-partisan such inquiry in history.
As noted in the introduction in the new translation, Hardy chose this title based on the biblical book of Job: “They meet with darkness in the daytime, and grope in the noonday as in the night.” To many of us, the haunting title well captures the darkness and corrupted thinking of not only Stalinism but of Democratic zealots controlling the impeachment process in the House as they prattle on about not approving Republican-requested witnesses and hold endless secret hearings to prep witnesses pushing their views. The comparisons to a Stalin show trial in the House appear indeed apt.
The unspoken assumption behind this impeachment is that Trump-related Russian meddling cost Clinton the 2016 election. However, as the great American philosopher Yogi Bera once pointed out, “It’s not what we don’t know that hurts us, it’s what we know that just ain’t so that’s the problem.”