A Word from the Editor
It has become increasingly difficult to get reviews of literary classics, perhaps because fewer are used in History courses, but film as a conduit to classics continues to be a vibrant alternative. In this issue, Emma Gilby reviews Alceste à bicyclette, starring Fabrice Luchini and Lambert Wilson, in great form, rehearsing the role of Alceste in Molière’s The Misanthrope. Their rivalry embodies the play’s themes but selectively, as Gilby explains.
Film, once we don’t take it as documentary, can get the contexts right, as demonstrated by the French TV drama, The Jewish Cardinal (Le métis de Dieu). This engaging biopic, John Connelly reports, gets at the essence of Jean-Marie Lustiger’s struggles over his identity, his manic personality, his relationship to Pope John Paul II, and his efforts to improve interfaith relations. One event, involving the Catholic convent at Auschwitz, ought to be handled with care, as Connelly reminds us of the actual dispute and its chronology.
Alyssa Sepinwall’s enthusiastic endorsement of Evelyne Trouillot’s novel, The Infamous Rosalie, to which she grants instant classic status, has allowed me to finesse the “classics in the classroom” label once again. Since we lack any direct female testimony of slavery in eighteenth-century Saint-Domingue (or elsewhere), Sepinwall argues that Evelyne Trouillot has provided us with a moving alternative, especially in raising the question of whether life as a slave is worth living.
University at Buffalo, SUNY