A Word from the Editor
Two long reviews in this last issue of volume 10. Julian Jackson discusses Gabriel Le Bomin’s 2020 film De Gaulle while offering a thorough background on films and plays about the French leader. He helps us understand why the general has been portrayed far fewer times than Churchill. This latest version, covering but a few months in spring 1940, emphasizes the family man even while he is fighting hard to keep France in the war. Jackson wonders if we can go too far in attempting to “humanize” the great man.
Ben White uses his review of Alain Monnier’s book on the French concentration camp, Rivesaltes, to muse on the imaginary revisiting of traumatic places. This “psychobiography” of a site of memory, or esprit des lieux, if used carefully, can open complementary perspectives on a lost moment in time. Although the camp was also used to detain Spanish and harki refugees, it is the passage of Jews in 1942-44 on their way to Drancy that holds Monnier’s attention. White questions this focus that strays from the overall history of the camp.
University at Buffalo, SUNY