French literature and world war II: Vercors and chardonne



Kidd W (1987) French literature and world war II: Vercors and chardonne. Forum for Modern Language Studies, 23 (1), pp. 38-47.

First paragraph: Between demobilisation from the Isere at the end of July 1940, and return to his home near Meaux on 7 August, Jean Bruller visited his sister's family at Bussac, in the Charente, where his wife and children had sought refuge during the hostilities. This domestic episode was not however without importance in the larger chain of events which turned the artist-engraver into the author of one of the most famous French texts of the Second World War, Le Silence de la Mer. For it was on the train to Angouleme that he performed his first spontaneous act of "resistance", by misdirecting two German sailors en route to Bordeaux, and it was during the week he spent near Saintes that he first witnessed, and deplored, the reactions of the local populace to defeat and occupation (BS, 112-3). By one of those coincidences which were a recurrent feature of Vercors's early career, he was at much the same time and in much the same latitude observing the same phenomena as another commentator, but drawing very different conclusions from his experience. I refer, of course, to Jacques Chardonne, whose article "L'Ete' a la Maurie" was published in the NouveUe Revue Frangaise in December 1940, and reprinted in February 1941 as part of the same author's Chronique privee de I'An quarante.

Forum for Modern Language Studies: Volume 23, Issue 1

Publication date31/01/1987
PublisherOxford University Press

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Dr Bill Kidd

Dr Bill Kidd

Honorary Senior Research Fellow, French