The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation

The Shameful Peace: How French Artists and Intellectuals Survived the Nazi Occupation

by Frederic Spotts
     
 

The German occupation of France from 1940 to 1945 presented wrenching challenges for the nation’s artists and intellectuals. Some were able to flee the country; those who remained—including Gide and Céline, Picasso and Matisse, Cortot and Messiaen, and Cocteau and Gabin—responded in various ways. This fascinating book is the first to provide

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Overview

The German occupation of France from 1940 to 1945 presented wrenching challenges for the nation’s artists and intellectuals. Some were able to flee the country; those who remained—including Gide and Céline, Picasso and Matisse, Cortot and Messiaen, and Cocteau and Gabin—responded in various ways. This fascinating book is the first to provide a full account of how France’s artistic leaders coped under the crushing German presence. Some became heroes, others villains; most were simply survivors.

Filled with anecdotes about the artists, composers, writers, filmmakers, and actors who lived through the years of occupation, the book illuminates the disconcerting experience of life and work within a cultural prison. Frederic Spotts uncovers Hitler’s plan to pacify the French through an active cultural life, and examines the unexpected vibrancy of opera, ballet, painting, theater, and film in both the Occupied and Vichy Zones. In view of the longer-term goal to supplant French with German culture, Spotts offers moving insight into the predicament of French artists as they fought to preserve their country’s cultural and national identity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300163995
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
03/30/2010
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1 The Judgement of Paris 1

2 Good-bye to All That 6

3 Oh, What a Lovely War! 31

4 'I Get a Kick out of You' 52

5 Bonjour Tristesse 73

6 Songs without Words 91

7 Artful Dodgers 145

8 Enigma Variations 192

9 Faiblesse Oblige 221

10 Human, All Too Human 254

Sources 265

Index 272

Acknowledgements 284

Photograph Acknowledgements 285

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