“Willi has no emotional feeling about the uniform whatsoever, but his sense of order is offended by the decorations. No soldier could possibly have been simultaneously on so many fronts, and if you look closely you can see that some of the ribbons are not even German.”
When readers first met Willi, he was taking bit parts in the film industry: questions simmering beneath the stuff of the story circled around whether the projects were accurate or truthful, whether it even mattered if they were, whether it was possible to make such a determination when the war still felt so close.
Here it matters that his thoughts still go to the question of authenticity, to the matter of how one represents what has already happened. And, yes, it is still about the war. (It will always be about the war. No matter how many stories. No matter how many other details about Willi’s daily life.)
But the stuff of the story revolves around whether Willi should confide what he has learned about a character’s infidelity to that character’s wife.
Whether he should admit to the truth that he has assembled, based on some observations and some consideration. Whether there is some other version of this truth which could cause less heartache, less disruption. Whether it is Willi’s responsibility to report on someone else’s dishonesty and what it means if he does not (how that affects his own trustworthiness).