Essays on le silence de la mer

That officer is Werner von Ebrennac Howard Vernonan educated man in love with French culture and ultimately aghast at the plans of his government to decimate rather than assimilate its enemies.

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This is, literally, a story told by the fireplace, the fireplace being Vercors's own; Melville chose to shoot the interiors in the writer's home. His limp is a sign of weakness, just like his love for France. Why did I take French? Melville clearly saw that to alter the mechanisms of the storytelling would be to destroy the story. Copy Link When the French illustrator and journalist Jean Bruller wrote the novella Le silence de la mer in late , he could not have foreseen that the story would go on to become a primary inspirational text for the French Resistance. It was in this version that Jean-Pierre Melville first encountered the work. He relates how Howard Vernon risked violence by wearing a Nazi uniform while shooting the scenes on the streets of Paris. At the movies, we are engaged imaginatively, not just intellectually. This time, Werner wears his uniform, as a reminder of their opposing sides in the war. We are brought into immediate identification with uncle and niece huddling around the fireplace in the depths of winter. Melville would later plausibly insist that the style of Robert Bresson's Diary of a Country Priest was indebted to Le silence de la mer. One night, he talks about his ex-girlfriend from Germany, who he was going to marry. He stated later that he knew right away that he wanted it to be his first film. Obviously, it is set in a world surrounded by the Second World War, but each character also has internal conflicts. Werner wishes them goodnight every night, and not much else.

Plot The book opens with a few German soldiers arriving to prepare the house. When Werner arrives, one of the first things that he does is apologise.

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He appears in plain clothes, and proceeds to speak to them, explaining that he has always loved France and its culture, but he also believes that good things will come from the war. Without being overtly hostile, the two hosts ignore the presence and conversation of the cultured and polite officer who increasingly engages them in one sided conversations on his burgeoning Francophilia and adoration of French culture and art. Even though he speaks very few words, we are able to see his opinions through his narration. They made me affirm what I already knew: the greatest strength comes not from fear or hate but from love. I was not raised or educated in any particular faith tradition; I came to Christianity in my teen years, largely absent any religious instruction. In its power to mediate, salve, and transform our most painful experiences lies one of the chief reasons film is cherished by so many. It seems the opposite of what is to be expected from an officer of the Third Reich. It's a shock cut, a more abrupt effect than Melville would have been likely to go for in his later work, but this was, after all, his first film.

However, while on a picnic, she was stung by a mosquito, and to punish it, she tore off all its legs. A French householder and his niece are, like Bruller, encumbered with a young occupying officer, Werner von Ebrennac, and vow not to speak to him or otherwise acknowledge his presence.

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He goes off to fight again, forgetting the emotional and cultural release that the silence allowed him to express.

Although Werner has a sincere interest in French culture, Werner is German before all else. Obviously, it is set in a world surrounded by the Second World War, but each character also has internal conflicts.

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Born Jean-Pierre Grumbach, Melville took as his nom de guerre the name of his favorite writer. Rather, they have been the ones that invited me—seduced me, really—to step outside myself and adopt the perspective of someone not at all like me. Von Ebrennac loses himself in an excursus on breast-feeding as a metaphor for France's bond with Germany as he leans over the fire, and later we watch his nervous fingers even as the narrator is discoursing on how hands can reveal more emotion than a face. When Werner arrives, one of the first things that he does is apologise. Obviously, it is set in a world surrounded by the Second World War, but each character also has internal conflicts. I begin with all my intellectual, historical, and social defenses raised against the argument that I must see its protagonist, a Nazi officer, as a flawed human rather than simply a monster. Another difference is that the conversations between von Ebrennac and his fellow Nazi officers, summarized in the book, are here rendered in German, so it becomes the language for the only conversations of any length—a harsh reminder of the recently ended occupation.

It always has.

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Le Silence de la Mer