By Robert Antelme
Rescued in 1945 from Dachau--where Fran?ois Mitterand, his onetime comrade within the resistance, well-known him one of the millions of quarantined prisoners--Robert Antelme got down to do what appeared "unimaginable," to explain not just his event however the humanity of his captors. the end result, The Human Race, was once known as via George Perec "the most interesting instance in modern French writing of what literature can be."In this quantity, the intense nature and volume of Robert Antelme's accomplishment, and of the reverberations he set in movement in French lifestyles and literature, unearths eloquent expression. The items Antelme wrote for journals--including essays on "principles positioned to the test," guy because the "basis of right," and the query of revenge--appear right here along appreciations of The Human Race by means of authors from Perec to Maurice Blanchot to Sarah Kofman. additionally incorporated are Antelme's own reminiscences and interviews with, between others, Dionys Mascolo (who introduced Antelme again from Dachau), Marguerite Duras (Antelme's spouse, who tells of his go back from Germany), and Mitterand.Also to be had: Antelme's The Human Race
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The howling train prays for those forsaken. Its furious noise, against each passing house, Stands guard over those who are lost. THE BLOOD'S MONOLOGUE I'm a river With nothing in it. I roll on Like a train in a mine, Blood, I'm called. Certainly I was born in the sea Which taught me to flow forcefully; I'm a raging fury unfolding Placidly. I have a change of soul every thousand years, And maybe I'm a wildcat now, Whose tremblings are looked out for. I'm in hiding, 38 And when I show myself I make all the passersby scatter, Though it's said that some who run off Really delight in seeing me.
There did not exist a single believing deportee who, on again hearing Christ's message— "Blessed are the poor"—did not think, did not immediately cry out, the complete, the true meaning of that message: that the SS order, the order of the rich, represented the negation of man, and that it had to be combated. There was not, in other words, a single poor man-deportee, believer or nonbeliever, who was not a proletarian. Not a single believer who did not see that SS charity was a police method, a perfect opportunity for oppression.
But it was hard, and anyway it was too late. Simon became stooped, his voice grew weak, and the skin on his hollow face became like ivory. He couldn't get into the Revier (infirmary) because he didn't have a fever; his temperature was barely eighty-eight degrees in the evening. But one day he caught cold; then he had the fever he needed to get into the Revier. And one night a little later he died. 49 On Maurice Blanchot s The Writing of the Disaster The impulse toward the recognition of the other, of the infinite other, the nature of this thought—its servitude.