LE MIROIR BRISÉ: REASSESSING THE OCCUPATION (1940-44) IN NOVELS BY MODIANO, ASSOULINE AND ROZIER
Within French post-war society, the reassessment of the Second World War and the French collaboration with the national socialist occupants started comparatively late. According to French historiographer Henry Rousso, France suffered from ‘Vichy-Syndrome’ until the 1970s, when the suppressed past surged and brought about an obsessive focus on the period of the Occupation, that France hasn’t overcome until this day (Rousso/Conan 2013). Since the mid-1970s, the period of the Occupation has also increasingly been made a topic of fictional literature. Especially around the turn of the millennium is when many novels are published that discuss the time of the German occupation in France (1940-44). This article analyzes three novels that deconstruct the Gaullist myth of the France résistante and turn against the metaphor of the années noires. The novels Dora Bruder (Patrick Modiano, 1997), La cliente (Pierre Assouline, 1998) and Un amour sans résistance (Gilles Rozier, 2003) make the gaps in the official discourse of memory visible and highlight the shades of gray that lie between resistance and collaboration.
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