Friday, June 15, 2007

The Blood of Others - post III

The narrative shifts between the past and the present with the story always getting closer to converging with Helene dying of a wound gained in some mission that she carried out for the French resistance. Along with Sartre’s Iron in the Soul this provides a great insight into what it must have felt like to be running away from the German invasion and there is a poignant moment when Helene and Denise watch the French soldiers, officers and then tanks and guns head through the village leaving them alone and then the German troops stroll in.

Bullet points between pages 110 - 200

* Jean and Helene’s relationship develops but she is frustrated that he continues to see Madeline and starts to wonder why he has no real need of her living an independent life that he believes makes him some how less bourgeoisie and more working class

* Madeline announces that she is going to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War so she drops out of the picture for several months and the focus stays on Jean and Helene and Denise and Marcel their friends

* Marcel is driving Denise insane with his attitude to life refusing to be touched for days on end and wasting his talent as an artist because he cannot believe in what he is doing and despite the comments of Jean and Helene he cannot seem to change his ways

* Denise puts her energy into a book that Jean too honestly appraises as being second-rate upsetting her but in the meantime he has agreed to marry Helene and they are all set for the happy event

* But war does break out and Jean is called up and because of her fears for his safety Helene pulls some strings and gets him sent back to Paris to a safe job in the rear, which makes Jean furious and he breaks off the engagement and manages to get back to the front

* Time skips and Jean has been injured, Helene and Denise are leaving Paris to take refuge in the country and Marcel has probably been taken prisoner because Germans surrounded his division

* Then the characters are different and Helene is dying and Jean is struggling with his feelings about it all although at this stage you do not know why she has been hurt and why Jean feels so responsible for it happening

More over the weekend…

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