THE WITNESS by Jean Bloch-Michel


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From France, the traditional roman d'analyse which pursues with classic severity and simplicity an act of cowardice, the inescapable guilt it propelled. In a first person and nameless narrative, this returns in time to the incident when he witnessed his brother's drowning, and although he could not save Michel- he saved himself- for the years of guilt and obsessive remorse which followed. Finding a partial forgetfulness with Claude, whom he loved and married, he isolated himself from all other contacts with the world, even through the war- and the defeat- in which he participated with indifference. And with Claude's arrest- as a member of the Resistance- by the Gestapo, there is the repeated pattern of passive evasion, and with her death the realization that he cannot escape the last witness of his default- himself ... A confessional, with a delicacy which is relentless as well, this aligns itself with the work of the younger French writers of irrevocability- Sartre, Camus.

Pub Date: Sept. 26th, 1949
Publisher: Pantheon