La vieille femme et la guerre: Rachilde face au désordre

TitleLa vieille femme et la guerre: Rachilde face au désordre
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsMontandon, Alain
JournalL'Esprit Créateur

Two works of Rachilde -- the pen name of French novelist and playwright, Marguerite Vallette-Eymery -- are analyzed by the author to determine Rachilde's view and experience of war through the eyes of an elderly woman. Rachilde's first novel, Le Grand Saigneur, portrays a fictional account of an elderly woman who is convinced that the war taking place outside her house is actually an epidemic, and refuses to leave her house for over a year to avoid being contaminated. When she finally emerges, her interpretaton and comprehension of the carnage surrounding her are warped by the tiny worldview her reclusive life has shaped for her. In Face a la peur, Rachilde's autobiographical account of the May 1940 exodus from Paris reveals the massive "absurdity" war is for the feminine mind. She discusses the pervasive, chronic loneliness and isolation war imposes on its victims, both throughout its duration and for years after. 

Translated TitleThe old woman and war: Rachilde in the face of disorder
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