Widely renowned as the 1952 Nobel Prize winning author of novels depicting stark yet searing clashes of passion, possession, society, and spirituality within the Catholic bourgeoisie of the Bordeaux region, Francois Mauriac is now gaining long overdue recognition as France's premier editorialist of the 1950s and 1960s. This book, the first English-language study of Mauriac's Bloc-notes, presents these poignant, incisive editorials on social justice, war, and human rights in postwar France as both symptomatic of a culture imbued with the past and emblematic of a Christian humanist's ethical approach to history and memory. Francois Mauriac lived history past and present most intensely. Filtering his perception of decolonization in general and the Algerian war in particular through the tumultuous episodes of the Crusades, the religious wars, the French Revolution, the Dreyfus affair, and the German Occupation, he delivered the earliest and most stinging indictments of torture and oppression in the Algerian war. Through the Past Darkly explains how Mauriac returns to the momentous figures and events of history neither to sacralize France's past nor to justify its present but rather to narrate the ongoing story of history as the universal human drama engaging the political integrity of the French Republic as well as the moral responsibility of each person. At the same time, the Bloc-notes constitutes a ""place of memory,"" a deliberate crystallization of the past aimed at rescuing the pathos of public and private experience from oblivion. Mauriac, argues Nathan Bracher, articulated a distinctive approach to history: in contrast to de Gaulle's nationalist epic and Sartre's commitment to the dialectics of class struggle, its lucid, uncompromising assessments of French society and politics have withstood the test of time.
Publisher: The Catholic University of America Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 463 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 23 mm