Translation of Notre Avant-Guerre / Before the War by Robert Brasillach

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Robert Brasillach’s memoirs of the inter-war era in France, particularly in Paris, constitute a rich and varied social panorama of the French capital, featuring many well-known, and some lesser-known personalities. They trace the major events of the time and show how they affected ordinary people as well as Brasillach’s more colorful and extraordinary acquaintances, particularly writers. Also covers travels outside France, the Nuremberg rally, and the Spanish Civil War. This first edition in English is annotated, accompanied by a historical introduction by Professor Douglas Johnson, a comprehensive glossary of principal names, and a full index. With photographs.


“…Tame’s excellent English translation is both an elegy for lost innocence and celebration of eternal youth….it is valuable to have this well-produced…edition of Brasillach’s paean to the happy insouciance of youth in the Paris of the interwar years – even if, in grimmer retrospect, it smacks more of the reprehensible callousness of a frivolous jeunesse dorée. It also has surprising contemporary relevance: it helps explain recent Anglo-French discord by reminding us that in the 1930s a substantial, if not dominant, section of informed French opinion was sympathetic to Germany and deeply suspicious of Britain and the United States.” – John Fletcher in The Times Literary Supplement

“Notre avant-guerre is a key text for study of a particular ethos of the period, penned by one of its major apologists. The quality of the text itself – on the borderline between autobiography and fiction – is such that an in-depth study of it reveals deep underlying thought-processes in action. Besides, the contribution it makes to assessing the social history of the time renders it an essential study-tool. In the present-day atmosphere of reassessment of Fascist authors and their world, an English edition of this text would represent a major step towards fuller understanding of the period. No-one is better qualified than Peter Tame to undertake this task.” – Richard Bales

Other France/French: All Subjects Books