Windows Into the Past
In 1917, the German baby Odilo Unverdorben (“Uncorrupted”) died in the brutal depths of the First World War and was absorbed into his mother’s uterus. Later, he became John Young, then Hamilton de Souza, and finally, absurdly, was born as Tod T. Friendly after a heart attack. Todt, of course, is German for Death. Unlike every other human on Earth Tod T. lived his life in reverse, observed as he did so from within—including shared dreams but not thoughts—by a kind of endlessly confused but chirpy guardian angel or soul or reified narrative viewpoint, a singular chorus to a life of genocidal depravity. Even this unusual summary is not quite correct, as we shall see.