The Collaborator: The Trial and Execution of Robert Brasillach by Alice Kaplan (Paperback, 2001)
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- DescriptionOn February 6, 1945, a 35-year-old French writer and newspaper editor named Robert Brasillach was executed for treason by a French firing squad. He was the only writer of any distinction to be put to death by the French Liberation government during the violent days of score-settling kwn as the Purge. In this book, Alice Kaplan, author of the memoir French Lessons tells the story of Brasillach's rise and fall: his emergence as the golden boy of literary fascism during the 1930s, his wartime collaboration with the Nazis, his dramatic trial and his afterlife as a martyr for French rightists and Holocaust revisionists. A prolific velist and critic, Brasillach was a witty, flamboyant product of France's prestigious Ecole Normale Superieure. He was also an anti-Semite, an acerbic opponent of French demcracy, and the editor in chief of France's infamous fascist weekly Je Suis Partout . His trial and execution, carefully reconstructed in The Collaborator , remain one of the most controversial episodes in the history of 20th-century France. In the charged days of January 1945 - with Paris liberated but France still at war - a monumental courtroom drama pitted a fierce government prosecutor against a florid defence lawyer for what each considered justice on both a personal and a national scale. Paris in 1945 is also the venue for Kaplan's ethical examination of the questions raised by Brasillach's trial. Was he in fact guilty of treason? Was he condemned for his denunciations of the resistance or singled out as a suspected homosexual? Was it right that he was executed when others who were directly responsible for the murder of thousands were set free? The verdict on these momentous issues was left to four jurors from the working-class suburbs of Paris, whose stories Kaplan presents here for the first time. In recreating the trial, she also uncovers more material never before published: damaging writings by Brasillach omitted from his Complete Works , and the file that Charles de Gaulle used to reach his decision t to pardon the writer.
- Author BiographyAlice Kaplan is the author of French Lessons and The Interpreter, both published by the University of Chicago Press. She also translated Gremier's novel Another Novemeber.
- Author(s)Alice Kaplan
- PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
- Date of Publication18/12/2001
- SubjectBiography: Historical, Political & Military
- Place of PublicationChicago, IL
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Chicago Press
- Content NoteIll.
- Weight470 g
- Width152 mm
- Height228 mm
- Spine24 mm
- Edition StatementNew edition
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