From collaboration to creation : literature by descendants of French WWII collaborators / Katherine A. Cardin.
Nearly seven decades after WWII, the complex problems and startling choices of the années noires continue to captivate citizens and scholars alike. Numerous studies concerning French collaboration with German occupying forces have been published. Yet, one aspect of collaboration has received little attention: its impact on children of French WWII collaborators. In the field of French literature, a handful of scholars have studied literature by children of collaborators. Their research has focused overwhelmingly on texts published between 1970 and 1980 by three authors (P. Jardin, Chaix, Le Garrec).The first book-length study devoted solely to writings by descendants of French WWII collaborators, this dissertation identifies and analyzes two waves of publishing. The first wave, consisting of literature by children of collaborators (P. Jardin, Chaix, Le Garrec), took place between 1970 and 1980. The second wave, consisting of literature by both children (Vitoux, Jamet, Fernandez) and grandchildren (A. Jardin, Carrère) of collaborators, began around the turn of the century and, as of 2011, continues to unfold. This dissertation contends that children of collaborators constitute a "1.5 generation" which produced an identifiable, unified body of literature that, despite its diversity, has a set of defining traits and concerns. It also argues that the children's entry into publishing marked the birth of their consciousness of being a community. Marie Chaix's Les Lauriers du lac de Constance played a key role in the development of this community.In addition to expanding the current understanding of literature by children of collaborators, this dissertation rectifies the neglected state of literature by grandchildren of collaborators. The fourth chapter includes analyses of the grandchildren's writings and investigates how they simultaneously resemble and differ from those of the children involved in both waves of publishing. Ultimately, this dissertation provides insight into the ongoing evolution of descendants' responses to the legacy of collaboration.
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