Remembering the French resistance: Ethics and poetics of the epic
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From its very inception to the present day the French Resistance has been represented and commemorated in the epic mode. While Laurent Douzou's book, La Rsistance franaise: Une histoire prilleuse, reaffirms this heroic vision, Pascal Convert's sculpture honoring executed Resistance fighters on Mont Valrien and his documentary film Mont Valrien, aux noms des fusills propose a more human, even anti-heroic approach which nevertheless aims to unite a community in memory by celebrating the courage and sacrifice, but also the specific persons, of previously forgotten rsistants. The poetics of memory implicit in Convert's works are emblematic of a more general evolution of sensibilities, since contemporary disinterest in the virtues of the warrior and a concomitant preference for recovering the humanity of war's victims can be best understood in reference to the successive trauma of World War I and the Holocaust.
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