However, if little damage had actually been done, the literary precedents of demythification had nevertheless been laid down


However, if little damage had actually been done, the literary precedents of demythification had nevertheless been laid down

Et de rappeler ainsi que ces ennemis d’hier sont, en effet, des freres, qu’ils Ie veuillent au non; qu’ils se ressemblent; et de rendre evidente cette scandaleuse ressemblance, par Ie rapprochement meme; qu’ils se ressemblent?

‘aurait ete de confondre ainsi dans Ie meme volume, et sous les memes caracteres (d’imprimerie), les bans et les mechants, amis et ennemis, les heros et les traitres ( .•.

(pp. 10-11) Jamet had to be content with publishing rifi Roi. Undeterred by his failure of 1946, he thought that his countrymen might be prepared to sign a Franco-French peace treaty in the 1960s and so went ahead with his project. Personalities as opposed as Andre frossard and Maurice Bardeche did come together, but only by their physical presence at the meeting – Frossard made no attempt to understand the cDllaborators and, indeed, the famous Remy refused even to sit at the same table as his former opponents. The failure of the enterprise is significant considering what was at stake, and the book is an endeavour to salvage something from the wreckage: ‘Ce livre, enfin, est pour qu’on cesse d’enseigner la haine a nos enfants. Qu’on desarme les manuels. Qu’on fasse taire les menteurs. Que l’on dechire enfin ces images d’Epinal, idiotes et feroces, sur lesquelles nous vi vans – et dont beaucoup sont morts – depuis vingt ans’ (p. 28). In short, ‘bien que je n’aime guere ce mot, dont on abuse, il s’agit bel et bien d’une entreprise de demystification’ (p. 305). Even at twenty years’ remove the scars had evidently still not healed; France remained divided as the Gaullist myth asserted its dominance. – 33 – A further illustration of the power of the myth can be seen in the 1 t b t J L t d F . M . 43 ong argumen e ween acques auren an ran

Et donc qu’ils se valent peut-etre

ols aurlac. Laurent and Jean Aurel made a film called La Bataille de France which started with Munich and ended with the rrench collapse in 1940; in his review, Mauriac criticised the film for not having the happy ending of 18 June 1940, which led Laurent to conclude that ‘omettre de se referer a de Gaulle eta it coupable en soi’ (p. 300). The controversy continued when Mauriac published a hagiographical biography – De Gaulle (Grasset, 1964) – to which Laurent felt obliged to reply with Mauriac sous de Gaulle (Table Ronde, .1964). So strong was the Gaullist current that little criticism of the General was permitted – after a trial, Laurent was fined and about twenty pages of his work were cut. What this signified was that, as long as de Gaulle was in power, no serious demythification could take place, for it would represent an unpatriotic attack on the President of France and possibly be liable to punishment. Thus, twenty-five years after the Liberation, the collective myth of the Resistance, as expounded principally by de Gaulle, was still a dominant force on the.French literary and social scenes. The major propositions which comprised it were first, that the number of real collaborators was minimal; second, that the vast majority of french people were basically patriotic, even if some were confused or misled; third, that the true cause of France was actively expressed by an elite of heroic Resistants; and finally that the top hookup apps Phoenix Resistance was above all given expression and incarnated by Charles de Gaulle. (The Communists, of course, while accepting and propagating the first two points, rejected the final two, explaining the movement as a national revolution which could only be represented by the PCF.) The myth, as outlined here, was built up over the years by certain novels, memoirs, temoignages, newspaper articles, heroic films and official biographies; its foundations were solidly set and those novels ——————————- – 34 – which had retained some independence in their treatment of the subject had been unable to send any major shockwaves through the structure. The same arguments had been raised in the same way across three decades; the two-pronged counter-myth (denigration of the Resistance, rehabilitation of the Collaboration) had become the well-worn literary tool used to combat the double-edged thrust of mythification (glorification of the Resistance, ostracism of the Collaboration). This heritage was just waiting to be exploited by future novelists should any weaknesses appear in the armour of the official myth. By the late 1960s, such weaknesses were starting to show; the mode retro was about to be born. PART I ‘LA MODE RETRO’: NEW MYTHS FOR OLD ‘On a tendance a ne rien croire de ce qui est ecrit sur un sujet interdit. Et sont interdits la plupart des sujets inconfortables.’ – rran


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