Skin and Bones

€ 18,49
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Januar 1994



A professor of literature at the ecole normale in Arras, Georges Hyvernaud (1902-1983) was called up at the start of World War II, and given the rank of lieutenant. He was captured with his unit in 1940. He was impounded in one Pomeranian oflag, then in another; finally, on January 20, 1945, he was released and together with other former prisoners made his way across northern Germany, on foot and in cattle cars. On his person, Hyvernaud carried notebooks filled with what shortly became La Peau et les Os, a narrative of his wartime experience. Excerpts were printed in the December 1946 issue of Sartre's Les Temps modernes. Roger Martin du Gard, in a letter sent to Hyvernaud a short while later, said that he could imagine no more hallucinating account of the moral degeneration of prisoners of war; in 1949, after the publication of the entire book, Hyvernaud received another letter, this one from Blaise Cendrars, who said that it had helped him "to understand the deep depression in which his elder son had lain ever since his return from captivity". Neither then nor after the appearance of Le Wagon a vaches, a novel, did anyone else in the world of letters notice what has become apparent to critics today; in all of the French writing that the second world war gave rise to there is nothing so unanswerable, so irrefutable as La Peau et les Os. No noble sentiments here. No heroics. Instead, the severest lucidity, the plainest language. Hyvernaud's account is of a failure of character, the failure of an entire order, of what he had taken to be a world. No talk of la France eternelle. No gloire. It was meanness, selfishness, cowardice, anguish and despair; above all it was "the irremediableabsurdity of everything. You detach yourself. You pull away from the tragedy. Nothing surprises or horrifies you any longer. Men die; it's simple; it's the way things are". Hyvernaud never renounced, never recovered from his hatred of what history, the war, "the way things are"

EAN: 9781568970004
ISBN: 1568970005
Untertitel: English. Sprache: Englisch.
Erscheinungsdatum: Januar 1994
Seitenanzahl: 119 Seiten
Übersetzer/Sprecher: Übersetzt von Dominic Di Bernardi, Dominic Di Bernardi
Format: gebunden
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