C'est la Guerreby Louis Calaferte
The novel opens with the confused perceptions of an eleven-year-old boy who, while playing in the village square, hears the tocsin sounding, then a medley of voices announcing the general mobilization. A profoundly isolated youth, he is witness to the paroxysmal events marking the Occupation in a provincial city. In a succession of hallucinatory monologues, vivid dialogues, and haunting descriptions, we see a young mind at first bewildered by adult rhetoric, and then, as it grows in understanding, made conscious of an evil without bounds. Struggling to exist, and forced to adapt to an environment evolving ever further toward corruption, violence, and baseness, the young boy discovers himself lost in a universe of black-market transactions, sordid sexual manipulations, killings, and deportations. "I am getting to know mankind, " the young narrator concludes. "Mankind is mostly shit."
"Bracingly unsentimental, [it] is a remarkable song of innocence sung in perfect pitch." St. Petersburg Times
"In compact and visceral detail, Calaferte succeeds in portraying this terrifying and shameful period in French history, when nearly everyoneespecially seemingly innocent villagersis guilty of crimes against humanity." Publishers Weekly
"One's will can be deployed at others' expense, a fundamental ambivalence that Calaferte . . . often brought to light. Because of this excruciating honesty, he produced some of the most troubling writings of recent times." Times Literary Supplement
- Northwestern University Press
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- 5.75(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Louis Calaferte was born in Turin in 1928. He was a playwright, poet, and writer of prose. The Way It Works with Women, published by the Marlboro Press/Northwestern in 1998, was the first of his many novels to be translated into English.
Austryn Wainhouse is the founder of the Marlboro Press and has translated the works of the Marquis de Sade and Simone de Beauvoir, among others.
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