The Silver Trumpet
The Silver Trumpet

First Lovian edition cover

Author Gebert Goetman
Language Flag of Lovia Small English (translation)
Publisher The House Publishers
Publication date June 22, 2008 in Lovia
Editions One (1st)
Genre Fiction > Psychologic novel, anti-war
Media type Print (paperback)
Pages 597 pp

The Silver Trumpet (Dutch title: De Zilveren Trompet) is a Libertan 2008 novel written by Gebert Goetman and translated to English by Steve Bronstein. It was originally published by Sumer and is published in Lovia by The House Publishers. The story is set in the first half of the 20th Century in Libertas.

In Libertas The Silver Trumpet won the Boeker Price in the category Fiction.

Plot summary Edit

The Silver Trompet tells the story of Oldo, who writes his autobiography in the psychiatric institution of the Universitary Hospital of Wikicity, from 1952 to 1954. Oldo remembers many extraordinary things, starting with his own birth. He is born in Civitas Libertas as the son of a collaborating woman. Gifted with a piercing shriek that can shatter glass or be used as a weapon, Oldo declares himself to be one of those "auditory clairvoyant babies", whose "spiritual development is complete at birth and only needs to affirm itself". Through all this the silver trumpet remains his treasured possession, and he is willing to kill to retain it.

At age three he receives a silver trumpet for his birthday and decides, after observing the obtuseness and duplicity of the adult world, to will himself not to grow up. As a result, he retains the stature of a child while living through the beginning of World War II, the Holocaust, several love affairs, and the world of postwar Europe. Through all this the tin drum remains his treasured possession, and he is willing to kill to retain it. Oldo considers himself to have two "presumptive fathers" - his mother's husband Ald, a member of the Nazi Party, and her secret lover Jelto, one of the inhabitants of Civitas Libertas who died during the Second World War. Oldo's mother having died, Ald marries Minna, a woman who is secretly Oldo's first mistress. After marrying Ald, Minna gives birth to Oldo's son, Kuno[1]. But Oldo is disappointed to find that the baby persists in growing up, and will not join him in ceasing to grow at the age of three.

During the war, Oldo joins a troupe of performing dwarfs who entertain the German troops at the front line. But when his second love, the diminutive Roswitha[2], is killed by Allied troops in the invasion of Normandy, Oldo joins the Nazis, like his father did earlier. During the retaking of Civitas Libertas, Ald is shot by invading troops after he goes into seizures while swallowing his party pin to avoid being revealed as a Nazi.

Oldo moves with his widowed stepmother and their son to Wikicity, where he models in the nude and works engraving tombstones. He falls in love with the saintly Sister Dagoberta, a neighbor, but fails to seduce her. Still devoted to his silver trompet, Oldo becomes a virtuoso jazz drummer and achieves fame and richess. One day while walking through a field he finds a severed finger: the ring finger of Sister Dagoberta, who has been murdered. Oldo allows himself to be falsely convicted of the murder and is confined to an insane asylum in the psychiatric insitution of the UZ Wikicity, where he writes his memoirs.

Etymology of the figures' names Edit

Goetman gave all his figures Germanic names, having a symbolic and often ironic meaning. No-one in the story has a surname, and the mother even doesn't have a name. All Oldo's mistresses have names ending on "a".

  • Oldo (protagonist) is the only name that hasn't been taken literally from the Germanic language. "Oldo" is derived from "Olda", a Germanic girls name that means "adult". "Oldo" also is a mixture between "Ald" en "Jelto", the two figures that could be his father.
  • Ald means "old one". This might say that Ald is Oldo's true father.
  • Jelto means "protector". This is a link to the fact that he protected Civitas Liberas from the Nazi invasion.
  • Minna means "loved one". She is loved by both the protagonist and his father, who is either Ald or Jelto.
  • Kuno is derived from "Koeno", which means "brave and dexterous". This is in fact the contrary, the father being very childish. The ending "o" insinuates that Kuno is Oldo's and not Ald's son.
  • Roswitha means "famous". In the story she is a famous performing dwarf.
  • Dagoberta means "shining like daylight". This is a reference to her so-called "heavenly" appearance.

Reception in Lovia Edit

An awesome piece of literature!

George Matthews wrote the following for the Lovian magazine Train Village News:

[...] Especially The Silver Trumpet is a notable Libertan novel. The psychologic novel is an awesome piece of literature, including great symbols and a multiple layer composition.[3]

The Noble City Times wrote the following:

[...] This powerful and symbolic novel is a great psychological work. Though it is really Libertan minded, Steve Bronstein's translation is of awesome quality![4]

Sides magazine rated it 5 stars 5 stars, a unique rating..

References and notes Edit

  1. The original name in the Libertan version is "Koeno". The name was changed to Kuno to simplify the pronunciation.
  2. The original Libertan name of this woman is "Roswita".
  3. Source: Train Village News, June 23 2008.
  4. Source: The Noble City Times, June 24 2008.

See also Edit

Founders Inc
Founders Inc
Shadwell Inc
Shadwell Inc
Walker Inc
Walker Inc
High in the SkyRockafellowThe House PublishersThe Noble City TimesTVNWest Wave Pietro'sRocket WhisperingThe RanchVineyard Store All Lovia OmnibusesLoviarailPacific Railroad CompanyWalkernet