Ungeminnt

In The Trion Syndrome, I used the German word Ungemmint because we have no equivalent word in English. The term means both unloving and unloved. It’s a quality born of evil which has no understanding of love.

The protagonist of Trion, Dave Bell, a German scholar, applies the term to himself without knowing why. For reasons he can’t remember, he thinks he has lost his soul. Something happened while he was serving in Vietnam; he doesn’t remember what.

I used the concept of Ungeminnt because it describes my own feeling about myself. For me, many things happened during the thirteen years I was in and out of Vietnam. In the beginning, I couldn’t remember some of them. Later they came back to me, sometimes in dreams. I knew that if I ever wanted to be free of being haunted, I had to bring those events into my conscious memory, face them, and learn to live with them. I had, in effect, to get my soul back.

For me and for Dave, my protagonist, it’s a life-long struggle. Dave is helped by his son. I’m helped by my writing. In telling Dave’s story, I confront my own past and find the remnants of peace.

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