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Episode 418             Episode 420
Episode 419

The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H.
Thu, 2018-Jun-28 00:13 UTC
Length - 3:17

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Welcome to featured Wiki of the Day where we read the summary of the featured Wikipedia article every day.

The featured article for Thursday, 28 June 2018 is The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H..

The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. is a 1981 literary and philosophical novella by George Steiner. The story is about Jewish Nazi hunters who find a fictional Adolf Hitler (A.H.) alive in the Amazon jungle thirty years after the end of World War II. The book was controversial, particularly among reviewers and Jewish scholars, because the author allows Hitler to defend himself when he is put on trial in the jungle by his captors. There Hitler maintains that Israel owes its existence to the Holocaust and that he is the "benefactor of the Jews".

The novella was first published in the United Kingdom in May 1981 as a paperback original by Faber and Faber, and in the United States in hardcover in April 1982 by Simon & Schuster. Adapted for the theatre by British playwright Christopher Hampton, it was staged in London in 1982 and in Hartford, Connecticut a year later. The productions generated further controversy, resulting in public pickets and condemnation being levelled against Steiner.

A central theme of The Portage is the nature of language, and revolves around Steiner's lifelong work on the subject and his fascination in the power and terror of human speech. Other themes include the philosophical and moral analysis of history, justice, guilt and revenge. Steiner makes no attempt to explain Hitler, but rather enters into a dialogue with him.

Reaction to the book was mixed: in a review in Time magazine, Otto Friedrich described it as "a philosophic fantasy of remarkable intensity", whereas John Leonard of The New York Times called Hitler's speech at the end of the book "obscene", and said Steiner's decision to leave it unchallenged "makes me sick to my stomach." Similarly, many readers and theatre-goers were disturbed by Steiner's fictional Hitler, and the author admitted that his character had gotten the better of him. Despite the controversy, The Portage to San Cristobal of A.H. was a 1983 finalist in the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction.

This recording reflects the Wikipedia text as of 00:13 UTC on Thursday, 28 June 2018.

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These podcasts are produced by Abulsme Productions based on Wikipedia content.

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Abulsme Productions also produces Curmudgeon's Corner, a current events podcast.

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