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Our Pre-War, A generation in the storm

ByRobert Brasillach

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"Our pre-war period was not everyone's pre-war period, I know that. It was first of all that of a small group of friends, sometimes distant from the time when they lived, but I imagine that through the details of their individual existence they were able to preserve some fairly common assets. I am not making confidences here, I am not in the mood for them: perhaps I would rather talk about my companions than about myself. But by force of circumstance, these companions have crossed a universe and a time that belonged to others. They came into the light of day when the post-war period was ending, when illusions were hovering to the sound of Geneva cellos, discovering Paris at the same time as the enchantments of silent cinema, the theatre in its vitality, poetry in its purity, anarchy in its charm, and they gradually moved towards a planet full of the glitter of possible wars, towards the exasperation of nationalisms, towards the oblivion of ivory towers and the concerns of pure art. It was an adventure greater than our own, and the very adventure of contemporary history: we knew it too. Our schools, our magazines, our houses, our travels, our pleasures, were only the sin-gular appearances, it seems to me, by which our era was designated to us. Describing them in their particularity, I already have the impression of conducting excavations. Whatever the future holds, it will no longer look the same to us or to others. Spain at war, the holy exaltation of the triumphal year, is a thing of the past. The nonchalant life of a student in Paris, through certain cafés, certain restaurants, certain cinemas, certain theatres, all transformed or disappeared today, is a thing of the past. The ephemeral costumes, which are so difficult to reconstruct from memory, the fashionable songs, the American navy berets, the Hawaiian guitars, the batik or thick wool ties, the tunes of Mireille, the fairy tales, the West Indian dances, the pure poetry, all of this, jumbled together, is history. And the theatre will no longer be the same for us, since we will no longer read Lucien Dubech's article on a performance by Georges Pitoëff, and since they both returned with haste, in the early days of the war, to the land of images and ghosts.


Publication Date
May 25, 2021
Biographies & Memoirs
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Robert Brasillach


Interior Color
Black & White
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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