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Edith Thomas: A Passion for Resistanceby Dorothy Kaufmann
Synopses & Reviews
Follows a remarkable French woman of letters (and lover of Dominique Aury, author of the "Story of O) who was deeply involved in the traumatic upheavals of her time including the French resistance to Nazi occupation and the Spanish Civil War.
"Though a contemporary of Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, mid-century French woman of letters Édith Thomas remains unfairly obscure. However, Thomas led a fascinating, quixotic existence as a promising novelist, a communist journalist in the Spanish Civil War, a voluble critic of the Algerian War and a feminist historian. Her most remarkable work was as a Resistance writer-the only woman in the Paris network-who countered Nazi and Pétainist propaganda with a powerful stream of clandestine poetry and articles (Gen. Charles de Gaulle cited one of her poems when he addressed the Resistance writers from Algiers in 1943). Plain, stubborn and possessing a fiery, uncompromising idealism, she rejected a woman's conventional role, yet longed for a completeness she imagined love could bring. She ended up depressed and isolated with her work and intimate friend (and one-time lover), Dominque Aury. Kaufmann, who edited Thomas's previously unpublished diaries and political memoir, The Compromised Witness, eschews any speculation into Thomas's thoughts and deeds that is not supported by her subject's hauntingly beautiful writing or the testimony of her intimate friends. As a result, she quotes frequently from Thomas's diaries. (Regarding the French bourgeoisie who accommodated their Nazi occupiers, Thomas reflected caustically: 'At the bookstore, at the pharmacy, people are very pleased. 'This time there will be order, you will see.' The order they deserve: cemeteries and concentration camps; the moral order of the dead.') This is a powerful chronicle of Thomas' tempestuous relationship with an imperfect world. Photos." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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