Monday, January 12, 2009

Inside the mind of Rob Gilchrist


I've got a piece up at the Scoop Review of Books which uses Don De Lillo's novel Libra to get inside the head of my old comrade in the anti-war movement, Rob Gilchrist, who has lately become the most famous police mole in Kiwi history. I argue that De Lillo's portraits of Lee Harvey Oswald and some of the other damaged characters associated with the fate of John F Kennedy can teach us a great deal about Gilchrist's reasons for spending a decade of his life spying on his friends and partners. Take a look here.

2 Comments:

Blogger Blaize said...

Your first comment on the article over at Scoop, from a detractor, references New Zealand's "volk." Wow. Do they do the salute thingy, too? Just to Make Sure we can identify them?

6:52 pm  
Blogger Richard Taylor said...

I can identify with the Gilchrists - my fascination with "revolution" in the 70s had a strong emotive factor that was not only great empathy for injustice, the horror of war, etc but came also from myself's self (and while I as l knew lot of contemporary history and political theory at the time) I also felt and seemed to need at that time (late 60s to 70s) a part of something (deLillo clearly describes this much better than I can) - now there were many others who were the same. In fact it is very human. (to join clubs, Partys, gangs etc) De Lillo is on the button - I used to dream one as teenager of being a Hitler (but I felt he was bit soft - I wanted to conquer more than him) and then cry over the Diary of Anne Frank, read books on biochemistry (usually relatively elementary but inspiring with great diagrams) and yearn to save mankind by finding a cure to cancer and so on...

..that is a simplification but indicates the ambivalence felt by people...

I was approached once by the SIS myself once (it was strange - almost surreal incident).

But I had more of "Gnothi seuton" than perhaps others...

It is all very complex!

While many good political actions happened there was an obsession with police and with spies etc. The SIS did in in fact spy on and even infiltrated the Communist Party - but the attitude was to make those we suspected - everyone - work - Lenin's advice on possible infiltrators...give them the most arduous work or the most dangerous.

12:31 am  

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