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B o ok R ev iew s le Septième Art, depuis la libération jusqu’à ce jour, continue à être critiqué, classifié, com­ menté par écoles nationales; que des réalisateurs expatriés risquent toujours de perdre leur talent d’origine en le galvaudant; que les cinéastes européens et japonais, sans compter ceux des pays sous-équipés, ne cessent de contester le quasi-monopole du film américain sur le marché mondial. Etc. Quelles que soient nos réserves, et tout le monde aura bien entendu ses opinions, Fascism, Aesthetics, and Culture est le genre d ’ouvrage qui fait réfléchir indéfiniment. Faute de place, je ne peux lui rendre justice à cet égard, et je le regrette. Il nous reste à féliciter le maître d ’œuvre et ses compagnons d’avoir entrepris et accompli cet essai minutieux et diversifié sur un sujet controversable même à leur point de vue. On aimerait disposer d ’un travail analogue sur le communisme: avec lequel notre intelligentsia, aux Etats-Unis comme en Europe, a entretenu des rapports encore plus équivoques... M a r c H a n r e z Unlversity o f Wisconsin, Madison Marie-Luce Monferran Parker. R o b e r t Br a s il l a c h : m a ît r e d e l 'é v a s io n . Paris: La Pensée universelle, 1988. Pp. 257. 96,30 fr. Robert Brasillach remains a controversial figure in literary and political history. Executed by firing squad for treason on the symbolically charged date of 6 February 1945, he is considered by many to have been little more than a scapegoat, held accountable in order that a line could be drawn, publicly, under the phenomenon of the collaborationist intellectual. It is difficult with hindsight to see for what intrinsic reasons Rebatet, for exam­ ple, should have been treated more leniently than Brasillach, and an impressive roll call of writers signed his appeal for clemency, including Camus, Claudel, Duhamel, Mauriac, and Paulhan. On the other hand, Simone de Beauvoir was not alone in her argument for not signing, since for many others too the deaths of Cavaillès, Desnos and Decour weighed more heavily still. Marie-Luce Monferran Parker suggests that Brasillach’s work can now be studied for its own sake, since all that has become part of history, a view which not only misrecognises the continuing importance of these debates for contemporary French society and culture, but also evacuates from consideration of his work the more interesting ques­ tions it poses, namely what kinds of connections can be made between writing and the individual political stance of the author, and whether it is desirable, or even possible, to dis­ entangle literary merit from a discredited political stance which informs that very writing. All this is posed with particular acuity around the figure of Céline, but Brasillach has also come in for his share of attention in recent years. Robert Brasillach: maître de l’évasion is not, however, seeking to further this particular debate. It offers a very traditional and, it must be said, undemanding analysis of the chosen theme of “ escape.” The introduction places Brasillach’s fiction under the dual patronage of Colette, Giraudoux and René Clair on the one hand, Morand, Malraux and Saint-Exupéry on the other. In each subsequent chapter, Monferran Parker concentrates on one or two texts, tracing the various incarnations of her chosen theme at the level of character and episode. Brasillach pursues “ l ’évasion” in childhood, innocence, poetry, dreams, Paris and “les petites gens, ” real and symbolic journeys, and the quest for adventure in exotic locations as well as action in war and conquest. The analysis tends to the superficial, primarily because of the very narrow critical perspective being mobilised. The author lists recent scholarship, but fails to use it. Furthermore, there is little debate of narrative point of view, levels of 124 Sp r in g 1993 B o ok R ev iew s narration, or narrative progression. We are presented purely and simply with the feelings and reactions of characters in the context of the plot (of which there is extensive...


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