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YMMV / The Iron Dream

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Shocking as it may sound, there are readers who dare think that noble Feric Jaggar is not a fine example of the human race!
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  • Anvilicious: A rare double-example. Not only is Hitler's book obviously anvilicious in its content and phrasing, but the book as a whole is anvilicious due to Spinrad's constant efforts to infuse every possible sentence that he could with Nazi ideology. Although considering the reaction that it did get, it could be that this was necessary in order to get through the thick skulls of some of the readers. Also, Hitler's own writing was notoriously wordy and repetitive, with many finding Mein Kampf an unreadable rant.
  • Death of the Author
    • Though Spinrad's stated intent was to expose the fascist undertones of heroic fantasy & SF, it's been argued that an equally valid interpretation is that it's a satire of Utopian fiction, specifically the ludicrous idea that you can "prove" your philosophy is correct with a work of fiction.
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    • The two interpretations are not mutually exclusive, and indeed might well go hand-in-hand. The point Spinrad was trying to make is about fiction, and writing fiction can prove things about fiction. By writing a convincing "pulp" Heroic Science Fantasy work that is clearly based on Hitler's Germany, he makes it easier to find similarities with other works; he's critiquing what he sees as the rightist wish-fulfillment of many of his contemporary speculative fiction writers. It's the real world that you can't prove points about by writing a work of fiction—and no doubt Spinrad would agree.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Even though Hitler wasn't exactly an awesome writer, The Lord of the Swastika is a great deal cheesier and bestowed with a considerably less extensive vocabulary than the works he wrote in reality... until one remembers the fact that he was already in a late stage of syphillis and on top of that never fully mastered the English language.
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  • Funny Moments: "Feric told him of his pedigree and the story of his life to date, which hardly made a tale of complex nature or inordinate length." Given how wordy and disorganized Mein Kamf actually is...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
  • Ho Yay: To the point that the scholar analyzing the book at the end wonders if Hitler was a closet homosexual. Jaggar's relationship with battle-buddy Best in particular is full of good-natured backslaps and adoring stares.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Both in the Alternate History Framing Device and in the real world. The American Nazi Party put it on their recommended reading list. "Apparently they liked the up ending", according to the author.
    • Also, Spinrad described one reviewer's reaction as follows:
    To make damn sure that even the historically naive and entirely unselfaware reader got the point, I appended a phony critical analysis of Lord of the Swastika, in which the psychopathology of Hitler's saga was spelled out by a tendentious pedant in words of one syllable. Almost everyone got the point... And yet one review appeared in a fanzine that really gave me pause. "This is a rousing adventure story and I really enjoyed it," the gist of it went. "Why did Spinrad have to spoil the fun with all this muck about Hitler?"
    • One Neo-Nazi leader named Covington also adopted the book in the same manner as the American Nazi Party. He even took to using the phrase "The Iron Dream" in referring to his idea of bloody revolution and the usual Nazi orgies of violence and extermination that would follow.
  • Once Acceptable Targets: Subverted. Hitler never comes straight out and makes his prejudices known.

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