Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hammer or Anvil

I am re-watching The Prisoner: this with The Avengers sparked my 60s thing years ago. I have never really been as fanatical about it as some people, although obviously I can see how the plots can be read on all sorts of levels & this time round am making an effort to find out what other people think, and am getting to know different interpretations and so on. Incidentally reading about the different fanclubs is interesting in itelf: Prisoner fandom seems to be wreathed in controversy! Anyway, a whacking great cledon came along for me in the middle of 'Hammer into Anvil'. This is the episode where No 2, brilliantly played by the wonderful Patrick Cargill, has the expressed purpose of breaking No 6, who turns the tables on him completely, leaving No 2 a gibbering wreck, ringing his superiors to say he must be replaced. No 2 tells No 6 that you must either be a hammer or an anvil, that the hammer will break the anvil (I think not, myself) & he intends to hammer No 6, using part of a Goethe quote: "You must either conquer and rule or serve and lose, suffer or triumph, be the anvil or the hammer" ("Du mußt steigen oder sinken/Du mußt herrschen und gewinnen,/Oder dienen und verlieren,/Leiden oder triumphieren,/Amboß oder Hammer sein.")
This is exactly what I needed to hear. I have a meeting that I'm dreading tomorrow: my manager is on my side in this one but is doing some subtle management thing to manoeuvre others where we need them. It'll probably be the first time in history the anvil's taken the hammer off the smith & hit him with it!

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