1. It takes a long time for historians and writers to come objectively to terms with a catastrophic historical event, yet Némirovsky presents just that – an on-the-spot description and interpretation of how the French behaved in the years between 1940 and 1942.
Has Némirovsky presented a fair picture? Has she written a journalistic account of the time or a story of fiction? How have her own personal experiences biased her writing? Is this novel a contribution to the library of wartime literature?I think this story is unquestionably a contribution to wartime literature.
I don’t like the word fair because this is her story and if some think it is to harsh on one certain type of people or the other it is still her story to tell the way she saw it and biased or no when something becomes personal it is just that a personal account. In the preface of my copy there is a letter from her daughter regarding the book and why she waited to have it published. She states that when she read the manuscripts she remember these events and these people her sister on the other hand had a different recollection base both on her age at the time and her reaction to the situation. The younger sister wrote he own book which is why the older daughter waited to publish this one, because it shows something very different. She didn’t even let the younger sister read this book for fear it would upset her because it was different than what she remembered.
2. Suite Française is an unfinished work, and as such it may be criticized as unpolished, especially when held up to the measure of other classic novels written in the past and present century accounting for the same time and events.Consider in your reading so far whether or not you consider what Irène Némirovsky has written to be a tragically classic story or if she is merely a tragic figure in her own story.
I think it is both. Most authors use personal experiences for most of their work and this is no different. And because we know the out come we know for a fact that she was a tragic figure in her own story.
3. In, Storm in June, Némirovsky explores the nature of families who escape Paris at the start of the invasion – the Péricand family, the writer Corte and his mistress, the Michauds, and some other individuals. These smaller groups, in turn, represent the thousands of people who found themselves in a state of upheaval that June of 1940. Once she sets her characters on the road, she steps back and allows them to act on their own – for better, in just a few instances, or for worse, in many cases.a.
Do you find yourself identifying with any of the actions or behaviors of these main payers in the beginning of the first raid and initial invasion of Paris? b. If so who?c. If not how do you think you would have reacted?
I don’t know that I identify with any one of the actors; I can see pieces of certain behaviors that I identify with. I know that when we are at maximum stress level our true nature is exposed. This is a tool used in leadership training to create poise (grace under fire). At all levels of training you put some one under extreme pressure and then put them in charge. That is the only way to find out someone’s true leading ability. There were some real go getters here and some definite failures in this story. The thing that most disappointed me was the statement Madame Péricand made that “she needed a male to tell her what was going on”. I know it was the time but in the light of knowing during this same time Julia child was acting as a spy for the allied forces. I don’t know I just take it personal for women to act helpless.