Here's an off the wall possiblity:
Suppose the encounter happened in that Russian
enclave between Lithuania and , er is it Latvia
The person speaking Russian is challenged somehow,
or prompted at least, about speaking Russian, perhaps
by a German soldier if it is during occupation. The person
wants to save his her but so immediately says she's German
from Lithuania just next door. Juest visiting for the day.
Kinda fits, nez purse?
Dr. Peter C. Montgomery
Dept. of English
3100 Foul Bay Rd.
Victoria, BC CANADA V8P 5J2
[log in to unmask]
From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 3:28 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: On the German in line 12
In a message dated 2/11/2003 4:06:18 PM Eastern Standard Time,
[log in to unmask] writes:
> The person is a recently and repeatedly conquered
> Lithuanian, verifying his or her sympathies with
> the most recent occupying army--German--either as
> a response to a direct question from some
> German soldier or German sympathizer, or as an overt
> show of such sympathies to keep him/herself from
> becoming a suspected "Russian ally" in the face of
> German occupation: "Am absolutely not Russian,
> come from Lithuania, an ideal/genuine/ loyal
> German [citizen]"
> . . .
> Part of what the passage signals for me regardless
> of the actual explanation is
> it mirrors or mimics the sense of
> identity confusions national/ethnic/political
Very interesting post, Greg.
I'm intrigued by the notion that the line might be said in response to
trying to "fit in" or avoid raising suspicion with German occupiers. This
implies that the speaker might be hiding something and is fearful of the
consequences if the truth were known. It might play off of the earlier line
of TWL "We walked . . . in sunlight . . . into the Hofgarten", which implies
to me an openness and lack of fear.
And not to belabor the point, but to your list of "identity confusions", you
might want to consider "sexual".
-- Steve --