Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris

Paperback | July 13, 2016

byJean Guehenno

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Winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize for Nonfiction Jean Guehenno's Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1945 is the most oft-quoted piece of testimony on life in occupied France. A sharply observed record of day-to-day life under Nazi rule in Paris and a bitter commentary on literary life in those years, it has also been called "a remarkable essay oncourage and cowardice" (Caroline Moorehead, Wall Street Journal). Here, David Ball provides not only the first English-translation of this important historical document, but also the first ever annotated, corrected edition. Guehenno was a well-known political and cultural critic, left-wing but not communist, and uncompromisingly anti-fascist. Unlike most French writers during the Occupation, he refused to pen a word for a publishing industry under Nazi control. He expressed his intellectual, moral, and emotionalresistance in this diary: his shame at the Vichy government's collaboration with Nazi Germany, his contempt for its falsely patriotic reactionary ideology, his outrage at its anti-Semitism and its vilification of the Republic it had abolished, his horror at its increasingly savage repression and hisdisgust with his fellow intellectuals who kept on blithely writing about art and culture as if the Occupation did not exist - not to mention those who praised their new masters in prose and poetry. Also a teacher of French literature, he constantly observed the young people he taught, sometimessaddened by their conformism but always passionately trying to inspire them with the values of the French cultural tradition he loved. Guehenno's diary often includes his own reflections on the great texts he is teaching, instilling them with special meaning in the context of the Occupation. Complete with meticulous notes and a biographical index, Ball's edition of Guehenno's epic diary offers readers a deeper understanding not only of the diarist's cultural allusions, but also of the dramatic, historic events through which he lived.

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Winner of the French-American Foundation Translation Prize for Nonfiction Jean Guehenno's Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1945 is the most oft-quoted piece of testimony on life in occupied France. A sharply observed record of day-to-day life under Nazi rule in Paris and a bitter commentary on literary life in those years, it has also bee...

Jean Guehenno was a French writer and intellectual. David Ball is Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature at Smith College.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 13, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190495847

ISBN - 13:9780190495848

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"[A] significant book, now made accessible to an anglophone audience in what is a powerful translation. ... [Diary of the Dark Years] is a rewarding work worth savouring slowly, as you dip into the life and mind of Jean Guehenno." --H-France