A Word from the Editor
This month’s issue might seem to privilege the French Revolution, but its intent is to present a variety of media that are used to depict the past.
In the Buzz, I interview Guillaume Mazeau, historian of the French Revolution but also at the forefront of a movement to make history accessible to all audiences. He explains his involvement in the composition of Ça ira (1) Fin de Louis, a play staged by Joël Pommerat and his company, that revisits the Revolution with a determination to move beyond clichés to restore its novelty and unpredictability.
In Maybe Missed, Robin Walz brings his expertise to the biographical graphic novel Picasso. Julie Birmant and Clément Oubrerie took their cues from the artist’s companion Fernande Olivier’s memoirs, and it is her experiences that are the most interesting. While it recreates the atmosphere of early twentieth-century Montmartre, Picasso’s work is alluded to rather than presented outright.
In Classics for the Classroom, Laura Mason takes a look at Jean Renoir’s Popular Front version of the French Revolution that paralleled Georges Lefebvre’s Coming of the French Revolution. La Marseillaise failed to please audience or critics, but she makes the case the case that it is well worth revisiting, particularly with students who have been taught to associate popular mobilization with violence and terror.
University at Buffalo, SUNY