Volume 6, Issue 6, April 2016

A Word from the Editor

In this issue we cover two topics that never grow old: war and sex.

In the Buzz, Patricia Lorcin reviews Laurent Mauvignier’s outstanding novel, The Wound (Des hommes), a harsh and moving look at the traumatic effects of the Algerian War on a couple of French soldiers from the same town.

In a second Buzz, Alan Morris reviews Didier Daeninckx’s Caché dans la maison des fous, the second novel in a series that mingles History (with a capital H) and poetry, commissioned by Bruno Doucey. Daeninckx tells the tale of Paul Eluard, who hid with his wife in the asylum at Saint-Alban during the Occupation. There he composed a series of engaged poems and the novel becomes a reflection on writing itself, the relation between art and madness, and the construction of memory. The first edition sold out within weeks.

In Maybe Missed, Alysssa Sepinwall turns to what she is defining as a new genre in French filmmaking : the Jewish-Muslim relationship film. Her example is Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s comedy He’s My Girl where a gay Jewish Parisian must sort out his difficulties with commitment: to his Muslim cross-dressing boyfriend, to his ex-wife and son (from a Hasidic New York background), to his Jewish mother, a Holocaust-survivor.

Charlotte Wells returns to Classics in the Classroom, this time discussing adaptations of The Three Musketeers, from silent film to the BBC series currently entering its third season. Swashbuckling heroes mingle with innocent maidens and evil femmes fatales; the violence of the early modern era is transformed into jolly sparring; the rise of the absolutist state into the machinations of Cardinal Richelieu against a weak monarch. While faithfulness to Dumas, never mind to history, is rarely a consideration, the new BBC series takes a new tack, treating the seventeenth century as a Western with leather-clad heroes and strong-willed women.

Happy reading and great summer break. We return in October.

Liana Vardi

University at Buffalo, SUNY

 

Table of Contents

The Buzz

Men at War: Laurent Mauvignier’s The Wound, by Patricia M.E. Lorcin
In Praise of Folly: Didier Daeninckx, Caché dans la maison des fous, by Alan Morris

Maybe Missed

Jewish-Muslim Romance with a French Twist: Jean-Jacques Zilbermann’s He’s My Girl, by Alyssa Goldstein Sepinwall

Classics in the Classroom

“Keep Those Swords Away from the Computer, Boys!” The Three Musketeers in the Classroom, by Charlotte C. Wells

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