Monday, March 21, 2011

Personal Note

Bonjour TLM,

A brief personal message, if I may: In one of my other jobs I am a playwright and for the last five years a play I wrote about Jean Moulin and Jeanne Darc has slowly been making its way in the anglophone theatre community. It has had productions, near misses, and now, thanks to the excellent efforts of Claire Duvivier, is has a French translation.

Malheureusement, nothing in my years in the anglophone theatre world have prepared me for the singular insularity of the French theatre community. Theatre companies who perform works in English nearly always have submission info on their websites.

Theatre companies in France do not.

While this play has always found support wherever it has gone, there appears to be no way an outsider such as myself can place it before anyone in the French theatre community. In my research so far, this world may as well be a labyrinth wrapped in an M.C. Escher painting.

The title of this post links to a downloadable PDF file of the play, Les Alchimistes, in the hopes that if you are the sort of person who visits a Resistance blog such as this, then you may also be the sort who would appreciate a good play about Jean Moulin and Jeanne Darc. If so, you're the person I wrote it for. Feel free to download and enjoy.

There may also be someone among us who knows what the next appropriate steps would be for an outsider like myself to take, or of someone in the theatre community who would be interested in the material.

Either way, the years of work placed into the project by myself and others should not waste away in my laptop. It should be accessible by the people who may enjoy it. As followers of a Resistance blog and podcast, I suspect this may apply to some of you.

For those of you who for whom this is not a topic of interest, je vous présente mes excuses pour vous avoir dérangé. Part two of the Jean Moulin podcasts should be up within a month, and after that we'll be heading to Denmark to explore some of the most extraordinary escape efforts of the war.

Until then, vive la Resistance.


1 comment:

Mikhail said...

I am just thrilled to find this blog on the French Resistance! I was just watching the documentary "The Sorrow and the Pity" about the occupation (and resistance) and was quite struck by how ambivalent many Frenchmen were to the German occupation. I almost had the impression that many Frenchmen PREFERRED the Nazis to the British. Just incredible! They interviewed one French aristrocrat who actually served in Germany's Russian campaigns.

I am particularly interested in hearing more about the conflicts betweent the various French resistance movements. I have heard that the British and Americans setup their own intelligence networks (and resistance groups) in France because De Gaul was too interested in futile "action" (e.g. sabatoge, attacks on Germans, etc) instead of just the mundane intelligence gathering that the Americans and British needed. I remember reading how the British and Americans were appalled that De Gaul would put the precious intelligence networks at risk with flashy attacks on the Germans which would wind up getting the participants noticed and result in the dismantling of the networks.

Is it true that the Americans setup their own network of French intelligence operatives, running the operation out of Switzerland? Is there truth to the rumours that after the war the French government refused to recognize French citizens who had been members of the British or American networks, denying them pensions or official status granted to other resistance veterans?

I almost wonder if De Gaul was less concerned with fighting Germany than solidifying a political base with which to re-build the nation after the war. Where the Americans and British primarily only cared about getting the intelligence they needed to defeat the Germans De Gaul wanted to use the resistance as a way to re-build French pride and honor.