Labels: Paris , reading announcement. It is a rare opportunity Ivy Writers Paris will be offering next week with the styling music of cabaret singer and performer Bremner Duthie and readings by writers published in Paris Lit Up magazine—Jason Stoneking and Donald Tournier as well as our well-loved returning author and friend, George Vance. Tis the season of poetry and music! BIOS :. Location: 14 Quai du Louvre, Paris, France. We will soon be announcing our season which will launch with our first event on the 3 Oct !
Craft served as editor of Poetry Northwest from - He believes that poems, like good travelers, live in the go-between. Picus Verlag, Wien His two radio plays were aired over NPR and can be heard on www. USA, lecture en anglais. Sereine Berlottier. In short, a marching army cannot be formed, or, if it does march, it halts at the first station, that of Evreux before reaching Vernon, and that of Marseilles at the walls of Avignon.
On the other hand, by virtue of being sincere and logical, those who have rebelled entertain scruples and themselves define the limits of their insurrection. Lodged as they are in official quarters, they are merely to print formal statements, write letters, and, behaving properly, wait until the sovereign people, their employer, reinstates them.
It has been outraged in their persons; it must avenge itself for this outrage; since it approves of its mandatories, it is bound to restore them to office; it being the master of the house, it is bound to have its own way in the house. As to the department committees, it is true that, in the heat of the first excitement, they thought of forming a new Convention at Bourges, either through a muster of substitute deputies, or through the convocation of a national commission of one hundred and seventy members.
What is worse, through conscientiousness and patriotism, they prepare their own defeat: they refrain from calling upon the armies and from stripping the frontiers; they do not contest the right of the Convention to provide as it pleases for the national defence. Lyons allows the passage of convoys of cannon-balls which are to be subsequently used in cannonading its defenders.
The insurgents are thus conscious of their false position; they have a vague sort of feeling that, in recognising the military authority of the Convention, they admit its authority in full; insensibly they glide down this slope, from concession to concession, until they reach complete submission.
Henceforth, the Girondist cause is lost; the discharge of a few cannon at Vernon and Avignon disperse the only two columns of soldiery that have set out on their march. In each department, the Jacobins, encouraged by the representatives on mission, raise their heads; everywhere the local club enjoins the local government to submit, 65 everywhere the local governments report the acts they pass, make excuses and ask forgiveness. Proportionately to the retractation of one department, the rest, feeling themselves abandoned, are more disposed to retract.
On the 9th of July forty-nine departments are enumerated as having given in their adhesion. Several of them Edition: current; Page: [ ] declare that the scales have dropped from their eyes, that they approve of the acts of May 31 and June 2, and thus ensure their safety by manifesting their zeal. To avoid isolation, to rejoin the most numerous herd as soon as possible, to always form masses and bodies and thus follow the impulsion which comes from above, and gather together scattered individuals, such is the instinct of the flock.
Nevertheless, efforts are made to stop them, sometimes to surround them and take them by surprise; for, a warrant of arrest is out against them, transmitted through the hierarchical channel, and every local magistrate feels bound to do his duty as gendarme. Under this administrative network, the meshes of which they encounter everywhere, the proscribed deputies can do naught else but hide in caves or escape by sea.
On reaching Bordeaux, they find other sheep getting ready and preparing their companions for the slaughter-house. Inevitably, when anarchy brings a nation back to the state of nature, the tame animals will be eaten by the savage ones—these are now let loose and immediately they show their natural disposition. But neither Bordeaux, Marseilles nor Lyons are royalist, or in alliance with the foreigner.
We, royalists! They tell you that our streets are filled with refractory priests, when we have not even opened the doors of Pierre-en-Cize prison to thirty-two priests confined there by the old municipality, without indictment, without any charge whatever against them, solely because they were priests. On the 2nd of August at Bordeaux, and the 30th of July at Lyons, the Committee-Extraordinary of Public Safety resigned; there no longer existed any rival assembly opposed to the Convention.
After the 24th of July, 72 Lyons solemnly recognised the supreme and central authority, reserving nothing but its municipal franchises. Better still, in striking testimony of political orthodoxy, the Council-General of the department prescribed a civic festival for the 10th of August analogous to that of Paris; already blockaded, the Lyonnese indulged in no hostile manifestation; on the 7th of August, they marched out of their advanced positions to fraternise with the first body of troops sent against them.
On the contrary, should the Paris faction persist in imposing on them the domination of its Maratists there was a risk of their being thrown into the arms of the enemy. Rather than fall back into the hands of the bandits who had ransomed and decimated them, Toulon, starved out, was about to receive the English within its walls and surrender to them the great arsenal of the South.
Not less famished, Bordeaux might be tempted to demand aid from another English fleet; a few marches would bring the Piedmontese army to Lyons; France would then be cut in two, while the plan of stirring up the South against the North was proposed to the allies by the most clear-sighted of their councillors. In any event, there was danger in driving the insurgents to despair: for, between the unbridled dictatorship of their victorious assassins and the musketry of the besieging army, there could be no hesitation by men of any feeling; it was better to be beaten on the ramparts than allow themselves to be bound for the guillotine; brought to a stand under the scaffold, their sole resource was to depend on themselves to the last.
But this is precisely the Jacobin aim; for, he is not satisfied with less than absolute submission; he must rule at any cost, just as he pleases, no matter how, no matter over what ruins. A despot by instinct and installation, his dogma has consecrated him King; he is King by natural and divine right, in the name of eternal verity, the same as Philip II. Hence he can abandon no jot or tittle of his authority without a sacrifice of principle, nor treat with rebels, unless they surrender at discretion; simply for having risen against legitimate authority, they are traitors and malefactors.
And who are greater malefactors than the backsliders who, after three years of patient effort, just as the sect finally reaches its goal, oppose its accession to power! Accordingly, it must proclaim them heroes and martyrs, it must canonise their memory, 81 it must avenge their tortures, it must resume and complete their assaults, it must restore their accomplices to their places, it must render them omnipotent, it must fetch each rebel city under the yoke of its populace and malefactors.
It matters little whether the Jacobins be a minority, whether at Bordeaux, they have but four out of twenty-eight sections on their side, at Marseilles five out of thirty-two, whether at Lyons they can count up only fifteen hundred devoted adherents. In effect, whether brought under subjection or not, they are crushed out. Consequently, at Bordeaux, where not a gun had been fired, the mayor Saige, and principal author of Edition: current; Page: [ ] the submission, is at once led to the scaffold without any form of trial, 85 while eight hundred and eighty-one others succeed him amidst the solemn silence of a dismayed population.
Fourteen have already paid for their infamous treachery with their heads. Tomorrow, sixteen more are to be guillotined, all chiefs of the legion, notaries, sectionists, members of the popular tribunal; tomorrow, also, three merchants will dance the carmagnole, and they are the ones we are after. At Lyons, to increase the booty, the representatives had taken pains to encourage the manufacturers and merchants with vague promises; these opened their shops and brought their valuable goods, books, and papers out of their hiding-places.
Meanwhile, the guillotine is kept going, and people are fired at and shot down with grape-shot. Notwithstanding that the inhabitants the most compromised, to the number of four thousand, take refuge on board English vessels, the whole city, say the representatives, is guilty. All this is not enough; the two cities that dared maintain a siege must disappear from the French soil. Clair, those of the Rues de Flandre and de Bourgneuf, and many others; the cost of all this amounts to four hundred thousand livres per decade; in six months the Republic expends fifteen millions in destroying property valued at three or four hundred millions, belonging to the Republic.
Again, one can understand how the Mongols, who were nomads, desired to convert the soil into one vast steppe. But, to demolish a town whose arsenal and harbor is maintained by it, to destroy the leaders of manufacturing interests and their dwellings in a city where its workmen and factories are preserved, to keep up a fountain and stop the stream which flows from it, or the stream without the fountain, is so absurd that the idea could only enter the head of a Jacobin. His contracted mind is so worked up that he is no longer aware of Edition: current; Page: [ ] contradictions; the ferocious stupidity of the barbarian and the fixed idea of the inquisitor meet on common ground; the earth is not big enough for any but himself and the orthodox of his species.
Employing absurd, inflated and sinister terms he decrees the extermination of heretics: not only shall their monuments, dwellings and persons be destroyed, but every vestige of them shall be eradicated and their names lost to the memory of man. Lyons is no more!
Etienne, and Lesage; pronounced outlaws and traitors, they are to be led to the scaffold without trial as soon as they can be got hold of. Finally, on the 3d of October, a great haul of the net in the Assembly itself sweeps off the benches all the deputies that still seem capable of any independence: the first thing is to close the doors of the hall, which is done by Amar, reporter of the Committee of General Security; then, after a declamatory and calumnious speech, which lasts two hours, he reads off names on two lists of proscriptions: forty-five deputies, more or less prominent among the Girondists, are to be at once summoned before the revolutionary Tribunal; seventy-three others, who have signed secret protests against the 31st of May and 2d of June, are to be put in jail.
No debate, the majority not being allowed even to express an opinion. To those who might be tempted to imitate them or defend them this is a sufficient lesson. Under the skylights, which serve for windows, and at the foot of the staircase are two pig-pens; at the end of the apartment are the privies, and in one corner a night-tub, which completes the poisoning of the atmosphere already vitiated by this crowded mass of human beings; the beds consist of sacks of straw swarming with vermin; they are compelled to endure the discipline, rations, and mess of convicts. And they are lucky to escape at this rate: for Amar takes advantage of their silent deportment to tax them with conspiracy; other Montagnards likewise want to arraign them at the revolutionary Tribunal: at all events, it is agreed Edition: current; Page: [ ] that the Committee of General Security shall examine their records and maintain the right of designating new culprits amongst them.
The betrayal of Dumouriez is imputed to them, also the murder of Lepelletier, and the assassination of Marat; while pretended witnesses, selected from amongst their personal enemies, come and repeat, like a theme agreed upon, the same ill-contrived fable: nothing but vague allegations and manifest falsehoods, not one definite fact, not one convincing document; the lack of proof is such that the trial has to be stopped as soon as possible. Why so much ceremony in shortening the days of wretches whom the people have already condemned?
The eloquence of Vergniaud and logic of Guadet might turn the tables at the last moment. Consequently, a prompt decree authorises the tribunal to stop proceedings as soon as the jury becomes sufficiently enlightened, which is the case after the seventh session of the court, the record of death suddenly greeting the accused, who are not allowed to defend themselves. Still more expeditious are the proceedings against the accused who avoid a trial. Gorsas, seized in Paris on the 8th of October, is guillotined the same day.
Birotteau, seized at Bordeaux, on the 24th of October, mounts the scaffold within twenty-four hours. The others, tracked like wolves, wandering in disguise from one hiding-place to another, and most of them arrested in turn, have only the choice of several kinds of death. Cambon is killed in defending himself.
Lidon, after having defended himself, blows out his brains. Condorcet takes poison in the guard-room of Bourg-la-Reine. Roland kills himself with his sword on the highway. Etienne, Bernard, Mazuyer, and Lebrun at Paris. Six weeks later, when, through the protest of the forty-five and the arrest of the seventy-three, obedience to the Convention is assured, all this is boldly and officially announced in the tribune.
It is a very simple one and consists in maintaining the subject population in a state of extreme helplessness and of extreme terror. To this end, it is disarmed; it is kept under surveillance; all action in common is prohibited; its eyes are always directed to the up-lifted axe and to the prison doors always open; it is ruined and decimated. For the past six months, all sorts of executive instruments are manufactured and put in operation—the Committee of Public Safety, the Committee of General Security, ambulating proconsuls with full power, local committees authorised to tax and imprison at will, a revolutionary army, a revolutionary tribunal.
But, for lack of internal harmony and of central impulsion, the machine Edition: current; Page: [ ] only half works, the power not being sufficient and its action not sufficiently sweeping and universal.
In extraordinary governments all impulsion must proceed from the centrality; it is from the Convention that elections must issue. At the summit, a committee of twelve members, similar to the former royal council, exercises collective royalty; nominally, authority Edition: current; Page: [ ] is divided amongst the twelve; really, it is concentrated in a few hands. It is true that their mandate has to be renewed monthly; but this is a certainty, for, in the present state of the Convention, its vote, required beforehand, becomes an almost vain formality.
More submissive than the parliament of Louis XIV. Naturally, none but the creatures of the latter and the faithful are inscribed; thus, the whole legislative and parliamentary power belongs to it. To maintain them true to their obligations it has two hands. One, the right, which seizes people unawares by the collar, is the Committee of General Security, composed of twelve extreme, Montagnards, such as Panis, Vadier, Lebas, Geoffroy, David, Amar, Lavicomterie, Lebon, and Ruhl, all nominated, that is to say, appointed by it, being its confederates and subalterns.
Aided by its police gang, the Committee of Public Safety itself selects the sixteen judges and sixty jurymen from among the most servile, the most furious, or the most brutal of the fanatics: Fouquier-Tinville, Hermann, Dumas, Payan, Coffinhal, Edition: current; Page: [ ] Fleuriot-Lescot, and, lower down on the scale, apostate priests, renegade nobles, disappointed artists, infatuated studio-apprentices, journeymen scarcely able to write their names, shoe-makers, joiners, carpenters, tailors, barbers, former lackeys, an idiot like Ganney, a deaf man like Leroy-Dix-Aout, whose names and professions indicate all that is necessary to be told; these men are licensed and paid murderers; the jurymen themselves are allowed eighteen francs a day, so that they may attend to their business more leisurely.
This business consists in condemning without proof, without any pleadings, and scarcely any examination, in a hurry, in batches, whoever the Committee of Public Safety might send to them, even the most confirmed Montagnards: Danton, who contrived the tribunal, will soon find all this out. Through these two government engines the Committee of Public Safety keeps every head under the cleaver and each head, to avoid being struck off, bows down, in the provinces as well as at Paris.
Owing to the mutilation of the local hierarchy, in the provinces as well as at Paris, and the introduction of new authorities, the omnipotent will of the Committee becomes everywhere present. Never before was such a vast and closely-woven network cast from above to envelope and keep captive twenty-six millions of men. Such is the real constitution which the Jacobins substitute for the constitution they have prepared for show. Programme of the Jacobin party—Abstract principle and spontaneous development of the theory— II.
The Jacobin conception of Society—The Contrat-Social— Total surrender of the Individual to the Community—Everything belongs to the State—Confiscations and Sequestrations—Preemption and requisitions of produce and merchandise—Individuals belong to the State—Drafts of persons for Military service—Drafts of persons for the Civil service—Personal sentiments and ideas subject to the State, at once philanthropist, pedagogue, theologian, censor, moralist and director— III.
The object of the State is the regeneration of man—Two branches of this work—Restoration of the Natural man—Formation of the Social man—Grandeur of the undertaking—Force a right and duty in carrying it out— IV. The two distortions of the natural man—Positive religion—Proscription of the orthodox cult—Measures against unsworn priests—Measures against the loyal orthodox—Destruction of the constitutional cult—Pressure on the sworn priests—Churches closed and ceremonies suppressed—Prolongation of these persecutions until the Consulate— V. Social inequality—Evil doings of the upper aristocracy—Measures against the King and Nobles—Evil doings of the aristocracy of wealth—Measures against land-owners, capitalists and people with incomes—Destruction of large fortunes—Measures taken to prevent large fortunes— VI.
Conditions requisite for making a citizen—Plans for suppressing poverty—Measures in favor of the poor— VII. Repression of Egoism—Measures against agriculturists, manufacturers and merchants—Socialistic projects—Repression of Federalism—Measures against the local, professional and family spirit— VIII. Formation of soul and intellect—Civil religion—National education—Measures for equality—Obligatory civism—The recasting and reduction of human nature to the Jacobin type. Nothing is more dangerous than a general idea in narrow and empty minds: as they are empty, it finds no knowledge there to interfere with it; as they are narrow it is not long before it occupies the place entirely.
Henceforth they no longer belong to themselves but are mastered by it; it works in them and through them, the man, in the true sense of the word, being possessed. Something which is not himself, a monstrous parasite, a foreign and disproportionate conception, lives within him, developing and giving birth to the evil purposes with which it is pregnant. He did not foresee that he would have them; he did not know what his dogma contained, what venomous and murderous consequences were to issue from it.
They issue from it fatally, each in its turn, and under the pressure of circumstances, at first anarchical consequences and now despotic consequences. Having obtained power, the Jacobin brings his fixed idea along with him; whether at the head of the government or in opposition to it, this idea is fruitful, and the all-powerful dogma projects over a new domain the innumerable links of its endless chain.
Let us trace this inward development and go back, along with the Jacobin, to first principles, to the original pact, to the first organisation of society. Nothing of what he previously was, or had, now belongs to him in his own right; henceforth, what he is, Edition: current; Page: [ ] or has, devolves upon him only through delegation. His property and his person now form a portion of the commonwealth. If he is in possession of these, his ownership is at second hand; if he derives any benefit therefrom, it is as a concession.
He is their depository, trustee, and administrator, and nothing more. We have already received as an inheritance the ancient domains of the crown, also the later domain of the civil list. Remark, again, the seizure of specie and all other articles of gold and silver; in the months alone of November and December, , this swoop puts into our coffers three or four hundred millions, 8 not assignats, but ringing coin.
In short, whatever the form of established capital may be we take all we can get hold of, probably more than three-fourths of it. There remains the portion which is not fixed capital, that which disappears in use, namely, all that is consumed, all the fruits of the soil, every description of provision, all the products of Edition: current; Page: [ ] human art and labor which contribute to the maintenance of existence. We carry out of his house whatever suits us; we pay him for this with worthless paper; we frequently do not pay him at all.
We stop vehicles and horses in the street. We enter the premises of mail or coach contractors and empty their stables. We carry away kitchen utensils to obtain the copper; we turn people out of their rooms to get their beds; we strip them of their coats and shirts; in one day, we make ten thousand individuals in one town go barefoot.
By virtue of the same right we dispose of persons as we do of things. But, the civil service is no less important than the military service, and to feed the people is as urgent as it is to defend them. Their hands belong to us: we make them bestir themselves and work under the penalty of fine and imprisonment. But in labor all hangs together, from the initial undertaking to the final result, from the raw material to the most finished production, from the great manufacturer down to the pettiest jobber; grasping the first link of the chain involves grasping the last one.
The requisition here again answers the purpose: we apply it to all pursuits; each is bound to continue his own; the manufacturer to manufacture, the trader to trade, even to his own detriment, because, if a loser by this, the public gains, and every good citizen ought to prefer public profit to his own profit. Hence it is that we appoint or maintain people in spite of themselves, in the magistracy, in the army and in every other species of employment; in vain may they excuse themselves or get out of the way; they must remain, or become generals, judges, mayors, national agents, town councillors, commissioners of charity or of the government, in self-defence.
Such is, henceforth, the condition of all Frenchmen, and likewise of all French women. We force mothers to take their daughters to the meetings of popular clubs. We oblige women to parade in companies, and march in procession at republican festivals; we invade the family and select the most beautiful to be draped as antique goddesses, and publicly promenaded on a car; we often designate those among the rich who must wed patriots: 18 there is no reason why marriage, which is the most important of all services, should not be put in requisition like the others.
Accordingly, we enter families, we carry off the child, we subject him to a civic education. We are schoolmasters, philanthropists, Edition: current; Page: [ ] theologians, and moralists. We impose by force our religion and our ritual, our morality and our social customs. There is nothing arbitrary in this operation; for the ideal model is traced beforehand.
If the State is omnipotent, it is for the purpose of regenerating man, and the theory which confers rights on it, at the same time assigns to it its object. In what does this regeneration of man consist? Consider an animal in a domestic state, the dog or the horse. Emaciated, flogged, tied or chained, a thousand are strained and overworked against one which has an easy time and dies of good living; and with all of them, whether fat or lean, the soul is still more abused than the body.
A superstitious respect keeps them cowed under the load they carry, or makes them cringe before their master. Servile, slothful, gluttonous, feeble, incapable of resisting changes in the weather, if they have learned to adapt themselves to slavery they have also contracted its infirmities, necessities, and vices.
A crust of absurd habits and perverse inclinations, a sort of artificial and supplementary existence, has covered over their original nature. Again, on the other hand, the better side of their original nature has had no chance to develop itself, for lack of use.
Each separated from the other, they have not acquired the sentiment of community; they do not know, like their brethren of the prairies, how to help each other and subordinate Edition: current; Page: [ ] private interests to the interests of the flock. Each pulls his own way, nobody cares for others, all are egoists; social interests have miscarried. Such is man nowadays, a disfigured being that has to be made over, an imperfect creature that has to be completed. Our task, accordingly, is two-fold; we have to demolish and we have to construct; we must first set free the natural man that we may afterward build up the social man.
It is a vast enterprise and we are conscious of its vastness. Little do we care for the present generation; we are working for generations to come. In like manner, to restore man to his normal attitude, you must handle him roughly. For this reason, now that he is warned, if he persists in his resistance, he is criminal and merits every kind of chastisement, 25 for, he declares himself a rebel and a perjurer, inimical to humanity, and a traitor to the social compact. Let us begin by figuring to ourselves the natural man; certainly we of today have some difficulty in recognising him; he bears but little resemblance to the artificial being who stands in his shoes, the creature which an antiquated system of constraint and fraud has deformed, held fast in his hereditary harness of thraldom and superstition, blinded by his religion and held in check by prestige, speculated on by his government and trained by blows, always with a halter on, always made to work in a counter sense and against nature, whatever stall he may occupy, high or low, however full or empty his crib may be, now in menial service like the blinded hack-horse which turns a mill-wheel, and now on parade like the learned dog which, decked with flags, shows off its antics before the public.
In this condition, he is free of prejudice, he has not been circumvented by falsities, he is neither Jew, Protestant, nor Catholic; if he tries to form an idea of the universe and of the origin of things he will not allow himself to be duped by a pretended revelation; he will listen only to his own reason; he may chance, now and then, to become an atheist, but, generally, he will settle down into a deist. In this condition of things he is not fettered by a hierarchy; he is neither noble nor commoner, land-owner nor tenant, inferior nor superior.
Independent of the others, all are equal, and, if all agree in the forming of an association, their common-sense will stipulate that its first article shall secure the maintenance of this primordial equality. Such is man, as nature made him, as history has unmade him, and as the Revolution is to remake him. Let us trace the progress of this liberating operation.
Always timid and at loggerheads with the ecclesiastical organisation, the Constituent Assembly could take only half-measures; it cut into the bark without daring to drive the axe into the solid trunk. Its work reduced itself down to the confiscation of clerical property, to a dissolution of the religious orders, and to a check upon the authority of the pope; its object was to establish a new church and transform priests into sworn functionaries of the State, and this was all.
As if Catholicism, even administrative, would cease to be Catholicism! As if the noxious tree, once stamped with the public seal, would cease to be noxious! Instead of the old laboratory of falsehoods being destroyed another is patented alongside of it, so that there are now two instead of one. With or without the official label it operates in every commune in France and, as in the past, it supplies the public with its nostrum with impunity. This is precisely what we cannot tolerate. We must, indeed, keep up appearances, and, as far as words go, we will decree anew freedom of worship.
Parenthèse de feu on Apple Books
To this end, we will take things in their order. As such, we have already banished from France all unsworn ecclesiastics, about forty thousand priests, and we are transporting those who did not cross the frontier within the allotted time: we allow only sexagenarians and the infirm to remain on French soil, and, again, as prisoners and in seclusion; they incur the penalty of death if they do not of their own accord crowd to the prisons of their county town; the banished who return home incur the penalty of death, and there is penalty of death against those who harbor priests.
That the sale of this poisonous food may be more surely stopped we punish Edition: current; Page: [ ] those who ask for it the same as those who provide it, and we prosecute not only the pastors, but, again, the fanatics of the flock; if these are not the authors of the ecclesiastical rebellion they are its promoters and accomplices.
Now, thanks to the schism among them, we already know who they are, and, in each commune, the list is made out. We style as fanatics all who reject the ministry of the sworn priests, the bourgeois who calls him an interloper, all the nuns who confess to him, all the peasants who stay away from his mass, all the old women who do not kiss his paten, all the relations of an infant who do not wish him to baptise it. But it will proceed without zeal, without confidence, often even with distrust, questioning itself whether these rites, being administered by one who is excommunicated, are not base metal.
Such a church is not substantial, and we have only to give it a push to knock it down. We will do all we can to discredit constitutional priests: we will prohibit them from wearing the ecclesiastical costume, and force them by law to bestow the nuptial benediction on their apostate brethren; we will employ terror and imprisonment to constrain them to marry; we will give them no respite until they return to civil life, some Edition: current; Page: [ ] admitting themselves to be impostors, many by surrendering their priestly credentials, and most of them by resigning their places.
Edition: current; Page: [ ] In the communes in which we are masters we will make the Jacobins of the place demand the abolition of worship, while, in other communes, we will get rid of this authoritatively through our missionary representatives. No exception whatever. The question involved is truth. We are its guardians, its champions, its ministers, and never did the servants of truth apply force with such minute detail and such effect to the extirpation of error. Alongside of superstition there is another monster to be destroyed, and, on this side also, the Constituent Assembly began its attack.
But on this side also, through lack of courage or of logic, it stopped, after two or three feeble blows. All that it did to restore natural equality consisted in this—an interdiction of heraldic insignia, titles of nobility and territorial names; the abolition, without indemnity, of all the dues belonging to the seigneur by right of his former proprietorship over persons; the permission to purchase other feudal rights at a price agreed upon, and the limitation of royal power.
This was little enough; when it concerns usurpers and tyrants they must be treated in another fashion; for their privilege is, of itself, an outrage on the rights of man. Bresson is the only filmmaker to conceive and use an autonomous grammar, the only "musician of film. Positive review that emphasizes the economic relationship between the characters and the symbolic playing out of the plot -- the young innocent crushed by the orderly oppressive man.
Londen: Studio Vista, Durgnat discusses the film as part of Bresson's "nonhumanist" vision, and says that its atmosphere, its "sense of convent life," is its "strongest claim to greatness. Positive review of Bresson's "most direct film," which is a reflection on love in modern society. Positive review of this "most Bressonian" of films, which refuses us the satisfaction of understanding, but nonetheless commands our attention at every "impeccable image. Reviews and a comparison of Une Femme douce and Ma nuit chez Maud as they fit into the Pascalian-Jansenist philosophical tradition.
Greene speculates on the faith of the two main characters and concludes that grace is the alienating, isolating factor for all of Bresson's characters, which creates an "unconsolable vision. Positive review: "The usual language of critical praise seems beside the point in discussing Bresson's films. Martialy, Felix e.
Mekas's reflections upon seeing the film for the first time are more poetic than critical: "About flowers picked and never taken home. About bourgeois jealousy. About jealousy. About two diagonal lives. Discusses the film in relation to Bresson's other work and considers it an oddity in that respect. Various camera and sound effects are listed, as well as Bresson's "expressive use of physical objects," but Millar comes to no conclusion, evidently feeling the film to be of an interim nature. Discusses Pickpocket as atypical, a film quickly and simply made, with a "relatively straightforward basic pattern.
This balance is especially evident in the virtuoso pickpocketing scenes shot in the streets of Paris. Factually inaccurate article that portrays the film as a celebration of the theological mystery of human free will. Murray analyzes the beginning sequence and sees the entire film as an elaboration of it. Detailed essay in which Murray describes the formal elements that make up this "very musical film" and argues that fragmentation of time and space is an attempt to realistically present Jeanne's point of view, 'to make us see the voices.
Nahun, A. A poetic essay that defies summary, but here are some hints of its richness: Oudart examines Bresson's attempt to create "a discourse totally transitive. From this long and sketchy introduction, Oudart moves to a Freudian-inspired discussion of Une Femme douce , a film in which "it is obvious that, for Bresson, nothing has weight. No more subjective images, intentional or not, and no more obsessive right angles. Bresson is through with the eroticism of a point of view.
It is not the desire that is the problem for Bresson's characters, but love. How can there be truth in their relationship, if in their communication, an Identity is not created by the signs exchanged? Still, Bresson asks, how can representation be avoided? What must be inscribed in the film to ensure the truth? And thus, he marks this otherwise "anonymous film," and justifies this "fantastic obliteration, this editing that could not create anything. Oudart is a formidably dense theorist, and Bresson has been a persistent inspiration to him see index. By using repeated shot-reverse shots and an oblique angle of framing "frankly admitted and used as a system" that results in the character's glance being imperfectly subtended, Bresson reserves, that is, never visibly defines -- part of the space of the absent.
This space is reserved for the "imaginary subject of the discourse," and the suture is then able to reveal this "other" subject. In an interview, Resnais comments on the meticulous soundtracks and poetic dialogue of Bresson's early films. Skoller, Donald S. Short review of "the most classic" of Bresson's films; Wagner compares the heroine to Antigone and claims that Une Femme douce marks the point where Bresson's style "establishes itself as universal.
In an admiring review, Wenders hypothesizes that the "creator" of the photographic image would have been pleased to know that the invention is being used so "unfathomably well. Review of Une Femme douce , Bresson's "first non-Christian film. New York: Praeger, pp. Second edition of entry Includes two new articles: an interview by Ian Cameron and an essay by Phil Hardy. Even-handed study of Bresson's work through Une Femme douce.
Armes stresses the poetry of the films and the careful selection of "incidents from the flow of everyday life," through which Bresson, by his control of speech and gesture, conveys the oppressiveness of life. He also argues that the collaboration with each successive photographer has signaled a major change in style for Bresson. Armes, Roy , French Film. London: Studio Vista, pp. Short wrap-up of Bresson's career. An introduction to Bresson's work as a whole, with a good description of his style, mostly in quotes that have been taken from interviews with Bresson.
Armes claims that Bresson is "interested in the spiritual and emotional aftermath of violent and startling events. Atwell argues that the film is not a typical example of the Bressonian universe because Bresson has "eliminated any spiritual or religious context. New York: Museum of Modern Art. Short articles on each of the films through Une Femme douc.
Chin sees Bresson's work as a "supreme example of Christian tragedy. Farcier, Jean-Paul , 'Une Femme douce',. Fogliehi, Mario , 'A proposito di stesso. Cited in Film Periodical Index Negative review of Une Femme douce , though Cow is impressed with the cinematography. The main character, however, "appears to develop all the symptoms of a thorough going bitch," and the scene from Hamlet is "too crude a put-down of the antithesis of [Bresson's].
Greenspun sees the film as differing from other Bresson works "in the degree to which it accepts and sustains a multiplicity of actions, objects, and. Review describing Mouchette as "most human heroine" and her death so beautiful as to suggest "a theatricalism of the spirit. New York: Praeger An interpretation of the film based on liberation and death, freedom and privacy, and contemplation: "In Bresson, details are not signifiers, but rather containers of meaning, and so constructed that the meaning and its container are inseparable.
Praises Mouchette for its vivid detail and criticizes its failure to present Mouchette's softer, more appealing side. Unfortunately, the criticism is based on a scene noted in error; Mouchette does, in fact, sing at Arsine's side in the film, just as she does in the book. Hurley, Neil P. Includes inaccurate quotations and synopses.
Johnson, William , 'Balthazar', in Renaissance of the Film. Edited by Julius Bellone. New York: Collier, Positive review that discusses the themes of communication and marriage, and Bresson's dry style in general, which is ameliorated in this film by the use of color. Negative review of Au hasard, Balthazar : Bresson's movie is a "religious statement, not an entertainment. Rhode gives the literary background and then compares Dostoevsky's story "A Gentle Creature" to the film, which he finds somewhat implausible in the transpostion. About the woman he says, "It is a fact of life, worth Bresson's continual attention, that some people are scategoats willing to bear the mental pain of others.
Summary of Bresson's career emphasizing the increasingly streamlined narratives, the quick editing, and the "disappearance of word and image. Review of Au hasard, Balthazar : "plucks out the roots of existence and presents us with a very morbidly beautiful flower of cinematic art. Bresson's vision of life and his cinematic style may seem to be bleak. Yet, no film I have ever seen has come so close to convulsing my entire being as Au Hasard, Balthazar.
It stands by itself as one of the loftiest pinnacles of artistically realized emotional experiences. Reprints of entries , Negative review of the film, which merely gives evidence of Bresson's continuing mental deterioration. Short article on Pierre Charbonnier Bresson's art director off and on since ; mostly points out that Charbonnier rarely speaks of Bresson.
Also comments on why he bases films on literary works, on art in contemporary society, on being a pessimist, and on his education. Discusses the film as a "simple rendering," and Bresson's cinema as "gestural" and "erotic. Gilliatt hints at a feminist and even antimale strain in Une Femme douce , describing it and all Bresson 's work as "reflections on escape from states of being buried alive.
Review: "The intense covert eroticism of the earlier films. Whole scenes have an emotional complexity to match their deep refreshing cinematic purity. Positive review of Une Femme douce , which more accurately comprises a plea for attention to work as a whole, rather than a discussion of the film. Hatch, Robert , 'Films', Nation 21 June , Review of Une Femme douce arguing that the transposition from nineteenth-century Russia to twentieth-century Paris, despite Bresson's "visual grip on the story," cannot be made to work. Review concluding that the film has a "missing" center; it provides plenty of atmosphere, but the dramatic conflict is too thin.
An analysis of the classic Hollywood cinema and the contemporary European cinema represented by the Bressonian model. The two types of film -- the first involving the dramatic resolution of an antagonistic situation, the second involving the impossible-to-resolve situation of an alienated innocent -- are contrasted in terms of the characters' positioning in the frame relative to each other and to the frame itself. The positive ideological effects of the latter are produced by the main character's "signifying in excess" of the fictional requirements and her corresponding "lack" relative to the other characters.
This signifying, augmented by Bresson's emphasis on "the look" of the character and his "anchoring" of metaphysical connotations in the image, leads to the "refutation of the 'object position' and constitutes the finality of the Bresson fiction. Prokosch, Mike , 'Bresson's Stylistics Revisited. Prokosch defines a materialist analysis and then attempts to show that Bresson's films, particularly Au hasard.
Balthazar , emerge favorably from such an analysis because Bresson refuses to encourage the spectator's inclination to relate to the characters, and he presents events as "equivalent emotionally" without dramatic emphasis or ordering. With this comes a "new mode of understanding. Review of Une Femme douce that discusses it primarily as a character study: "Dostoevsky attributes the distance [between people]. He also points out the strangeness of the ending, which is without the finality of virtually all Bresson's other films.
Article that argues that Bresson himself, by virtue of the evidence of his work as a whole, is heading toward suicide. Zeman claims that Bresson is obsessed with the question of whether or not suicide is religiously acceptable. Zimmerman, Paul, D. Review of Une Femme douce : It "makes no concessions to the audience's appetite for alleviating humor or accelerated action [but]. This film is in "perfect correspondence to the Dostoevsky novella. In its refusal of the tragic, this beautiful and smooth film has a sorrowful resonance and reaffirms Bresson's importance in French cinema.
At the core of them is the "correspondence between realism and abstraction, between body and soul," but Clouzot agrees with those who feel that the presentation of these correspondences only confuses further an already muddled critique of modern society. Collet is struck by the many uncharacteristically pleasing elements of the film and sees it as a definite break in the traditional view of Bresson as a "haughty stranger to the anxieties and hopes of our time; here, he is engaged with a less serious, even charming, neurosis.
See entry for anntation.
La Passion de Mons (1501) : étude sur le texte et sur ses rapports avec la Passion d'Amiens (1500)
Positive review emphasizing the change in tone that this film represents for Bresson. Guiguet discusses in detail the film-within- a-film sequence, the visit of Jacques's pompous artist friend, and the rich string of theoretical notions that each brings to the film. Edited by David Denby. Knudsen, M and Braad Thomson, C. Cited in International Index to Film Periodicals A tour de force of analysis that should be read in full.
To Oudart, it is an exceptionally weak "idealist transcription of internal contradictions, a film so completely devoid of the ideological effects" of Bresson's previous films that it neutralizes their value. Bresson's desire has been "foreclosed"; he confuses the shooting space with a real space presented "live" that is supposed to reflect the contradictions of contemporary society.
This inscription of a real social practice is "the last resort of idealist cinema to give itself a seeming political position. This rapport is "the inhibition of the Bressonian fiction," and its denegation results in a "castrated lover. Putnam's Sons, Interview that focuses particularly on Bresson's methods of directing actors, including a direct question about his "closed off manner on the set. A study of Bresson's work as it exemplifies "the transcendental style in the West.
Seguin argues that Bresson, by his use of minimalist imagery and metonymy, reduces coherent reality to a contradiction. Bresson "burns the bridges" of accumulated culture, but replaces it with "nothing. Points out the extremely simple and clear construction of the film; though not at all like Bresson's other films in its worldview, it is one of the most Bressonian in its "calm unfolding. Svensson, Arne , 'Samtel med Bresson', Filmrutan 1, It deals with the illusions of youth, the limits of idealism, the ironies of the mating game and the resilience of the young.
Cited in Film Literature Index, Review that sees the film as a "meta-cinematic fable" and a comedy. Bongioanni, M. Translated by Helen R. New York: Praeger. Bresson is only periodically mentioned here, but always as an innovator and prime practitioner of the kind of cinema that Burch espouses. Almost every chapter is a discussion of some formal concern, of which Bresson "above all" has sensed the value: the relationship of screen and off-screen space, the structural use of fades and dissolves, the relationship of sharp and soft focus, the problem of duration, and the structural use of sound.
A well-supported socioeconomic analysis of Au hasard, Balthazar that begins by comparing the film to more traditional cinematic portrayals of French rural life. The feminist as well as economic themes of the film are explored, but the authors conclude that because "the possibility of revolutionary social transformation remains outside Bresson's vision," such anticapitalist sentiments lead only to the "nihilistic endorsement of selfdestruction" that can be seen in the later films.
Chiarini, L. Cited in Film Literature Index Edited by Peter Cowie. New York: A. Barnes, Wrap-up of Bresson's career that emphasizes the theme of fatalism. Bresson speaks relatively freely and at lenght here; he relates anecdotes from the set, comments on his religious beliefs, and declares that he stopped painting because he was "too nervous.
Synopsis, production details, long section of character analyses, section of quotes from Bresson on the origin of the film and on his conception of it, thematic and visual analysis, and questions for discussion. Murray, L. Peruzzi, G. Interview with Bresson and report from the set of Lancelot du Lac. Comments about the film, modern art, and the modern church. Derivative discussion of Bresson's method of adaptation. Most of the chapters have been rewritten to include examples from the later films and much of the support material e.
His critical attitude, which emphasizes a distinction between literary and nonliterary elements, remains the same. Two opposing viewpoints of Bresson's career. Amengual describes the films as a "game of oppositions and structural contradictions," and Bresson's recourse to the voice-off as "the central pivot of the Copernican revolution imposed by Bresson on the modern cinema.
Like God the Father. Not the actors, even less, the story. Report of the last-minute selection of the film for showing at Cannes, after several people protested. Report of Bresson's complaint that the Cannes Festival is a commercial mediocrity, with only one advantage for the filmmaker -- the fees that are paid. Editorial portrait of Bresson and a scolding of the Cannes selection committee for ignoring Lancelot du Lac.
Photo essay. Interview with Bresson on Lancelot du Lac ; includes statements on why he wanted to film it and how he views the myth. Wrap-up of Bresson's career through Lancelot du Lac that bemoans the growing antipathy toward his work since Au hasard, Balthazar. Includes a filmography and a listing of two television films about Bresson, one French, one German.
Rave review of this "most Bressonian" of works, which is "distinguished not by its style, but by its essence. Ambiguous review of this "unqualified masterpiece" with a "humorless vision. Short review of Lancelot du Lac : "The film's real subject is Bresson's odd way of perceiving an event which moves us not through action or characters but almost wholly through image and form.
Discussion of Bresson's method of directing actors and the resulting main characters. Bechtold finds several common traits that connect the "heroes": they are all lost and deprived, they are all alone, and the catalyst of their liberty is always another person. Review of Lancelot du Lac. Bory considers the film a success, but feels that Bresson has gone too far in his borrowing from musical structure. He also points out how Bresson's own "quest" for a perfected cinematogaphy and his free use of the signs, the flags, and the natural Bressonian items that a medieval setting has to offer reflect his affinity for the material.
Review that emphasizes the mythical elements of the film and Bresson's "radical perspective. Chauvet is inclined to like the film because he admires the style, but finds it to have no feeling. Opposing a positive review in the same issue, Chevassu argues that the film is too self-consciously constructed, even if by a "true theoretician. Negative review of Lancelot du Lac which "lacks passion for all its frosty beauty. Short review of Lancelot du Lac : "Unlike [Bresson's] earlier and superior films, the moral anguish of the hero remains unconvincing.
Review that discusses Lancelot du Lac in terms of Bresson's quest for his own language and an accompanying "will to abstraction. Duval accuses them of being "stingy on the stars" when rating this "Hitchcockian masterpiece. Grant, Jacques , 'Lancelot du Lac. Notice of the controversial showing of the film outside the formal Cannes competition "in spite of the collective shame of the selectors whom Michel Piccoli publicly denounced. Jung, F.
Karkosch, K. In a long introduction to an analysis of Lancelot du Lac , Latil-Le Dantec laments Bresson's failure to reach the wide audience he deserves, calling him a "victim of etiquette. Review that considers the film to be about the "contrast between the freedom and growth of the spirit and the fixed stability of physical reality.
Maingois, Michel , 'Le Geste de R. Review of Lancelot du Lac as a "conquest of purity" and a very private form of expression. Positive review and discussion of the film's structure of signs in the dialogue, framing, sound, and so forth. Polhemus, Helen M. Polhemus sees the films as existing in a "cheerless. November" world, which the final images of "true liberation" transcend and clarify. Interview with Burel in which he claims that Bresson misrepresented Jeanne d'Arc by presenting her as a cunning girl.
He describes Bresson as a man who brooks no disagreement and never wants to recognize that he is wrong. Negative notice on Lancelot du Lac : "An arid, unharrowing experience. Notice of a showing at the Locarno festival of Lancelot du Lac , a film "that could seem self-parody. Review that finds the film the perfection of Bresson's film language, a model of "clarity and simplicity. A routine wrap-up of rhetorical devices used in the film -- elipsis, synecdoche, metonymy -- couched in theoretical simplistics: "We should construct the 'other' film that is absent.
The visible refers to the invisible. Presence means absence. After falling off a stage and breaking her neck, Smith had a projector installed in her room and watched movies, one of which was Au hasard, Balthazar , viewed "several hundred times under mild sedation.
Positive review of this "perfect meeting of subject and style. Semiotic analysis that attempts to situate the film in a Marxist framework. Turim details the erotic paradigm after Bataille and the treatment in the film of exchange and value. Also includes plot diagrams, a discussion of the narrative organization, and a detailed analysis of the first and last segments as proof of a system of closure. Though a solid and admiring study, Turim finds the text wanting, for "it does not and cannot define what there is to believe in that would make a difference"; Au hasard, Balthazar therefore must remain an interim step in the political revamping of film form.
Allombert, Guy , 'En toute franchise: ne confondons pas baveur et cravateur', Image et Son January , Sarcastic review of Lancelot du Lac : "Enough of this sterile narcissism which ignores life, the actual world, and men. Synopsis, short interview with Bresson, and press clips. Gathering of quotations from Bresson on Lancelot du Lac , anachronisms, Dreyer, brilliance, and poverty.
Lancelot du Lac discussed in the context of current film theory and changing ideas of film narrative. Very general. An account of Bastaire's friendship with Bresson, carried on mostly by letter. Review of the film's narrative elements as a "perfect dramatic pyramid. Short, pointed analysis of the film, which Biette describes as a stale product too long in the idea stage. Bresson is placed at a pole opposite Renoir, and his previous films lauded for a rigor and intensity that this one lacks.
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Production background on Lancelot du Lac, anecdotes, and so forth. Half-serious, half-humorous piece that contends that the only thing close to American film noir in France is Bresson's oeuvre. Similar to a previous essay see entry an Bresson's career. Also includes biographical information. Flipo, E. Positive review of the "dazzlingly severe and beautiful" Lancelot du Lac.
Hollstein, Dorothea , 'Arbeitshilfe', in Filme des Monats Edited by Rainer Bunz. Frankfurt: Gemeinschaftswerk der Evangelischen Publizistik, Edited by P. Adams Sitney. A character study that supplies motivation for most of the action and psychological explanation for most of the shots in the film. The points made lend solid support to a narrow, though plausible interpretation of Pickpocket as maturation drama. Positive review of Lancelot du Lac despite the "Bressonian longeurs. Lefebvre, J. Lefebvre, a filmmaker, describes Bresson's work as "essentially moral" and "a prism.
Review that focuses on the increasingly pessimistic views of Bresson: "From being different, the attainment of grace has gradually become virtually impossible. Oudart defines this as a fascist power used immoderately and passionately, which upsets the bourgeois conscience in its joy at transgressing the rules. Meanwhile it paradoxically maintains the bourgeois ideal of an individualist exercise of power by being a "perversion of power" instead of an opposing one.
By turning on themselves in this and other ways, these films hold up for judgment the dominant ideology and its power codes, but refuse to take the judgment seriously. Oudart is struck by what he considers to be the films' radical representation of fascism in their refusal to incorporate the stereotypical sexual perversities that in cinema traditionally make fascism attractive.
But he also argues that this attitude cannot be accounted for by political conscience. It is rather a "religion. Positive review of Lancelot du Lac : "an elegy and valediction for the Arthurian legend and the quest for a spiritual ideal.
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Sitney, P. Analysis of Bresson's linear style and the rhetorical devices at work in his films: "synecdoche, histeron proteon, binary contexts, the two-part shot, ellipses, and elision. The subjunctive mode distracts from the action and "points to the way the action is perceived. A good amount of evidence is brought to the argument, including detailed explication of a series of shots from Mouchette and several segments from Au hasard, Balthazar.
Paris: Flammarion, Reprints of entries 94, Also a third review: see entry for annotation. Wilson, R. Admiring review of this tale of "barn-loft infidelity and in-group politicking. Wolff, Egmont ed. Ferraro is an erudite critic who has a wide knowledge of the literary and historical sources of Bresson's films.
He sees them as dominated by two elements: a "chain of metaphors" comprised of cells, traps, and tortures; and an explication of the radical antithesis of an established world and a character who does not recognize his or her self in it. Bresson explores this antithesis through the "horizontality" of an interior experience revealed through faces, gestures, and words. In this way, he ernphasizes the "diversity" of his characters and their existence at odds with the established world and its rigid habits, low horizons, and "interiorized norms.
Two introductory chapters and analyses of each of the films through Lancelot du Lac. Tinazzi sees the films as structured by "refusals" of spectacle, acting, plot, etc. Tinazzi's analyses are traditional and formal; he elaborates the films' structural economy and their distinctly individual dimension, saying they all have the make-up of a personalized "itinerary.
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With them, Bresson sees the social dimension as reduced to a relationship between the individual and the rules, between subjective affirmation and idealized, enforced consolidation. Discussion of Bresson's career that describes his work as a radical renewal of a literary tradition. Armes argues, focusing particularly on the films of the s, that Bresson employs nineteenth-century ideas, but powerfully resurrects them through abstraction.
Two study lessons for the presentation of Lancelot du Lac in the classroom.
One treats the approach to the Arthurian legend; the second offers a framework for detailed semiological analysis of a particular section. Christensen, Jerome C. Long article comparing the original story and film adaptation, emphasizing their similar presentation of the love relationships: Marthe's aggressive maneuvering toward a marriage contract and Jacques's less practical, but more sincere desire for ideal love.
Describes the film in contrast to the book as a narrative that emphasizes the significance of particular instances. Argues that this method is better suited to film, and much different from the convergence of social issues that the book rests upon. In an interview, Jacquot, the director of l'Assassin musicien distinguishes his own use of nonprofessional actors from Bresson's.
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He describes the relationship between a filmmaker and actors as analogous to a sexual one and suggests that while Bresson strains to ignore this dynamic, he Jacquot wishes to confront and analyze the relationship. Interview with Bresson's first cinematographer, who briefly describes his relationship with Bresson as at first difficult, but still a fondly remembered collaboration.
Nogueira, Roi , 'Burel and Bresson'. Translated and with an introduction by Tom Milne. Sight and Sound 4, no. The actual shot-by-shot description is included, as well as thirty frame enlargements. Short negative notice of Lancelot du Lac. Edited by Bill Nichols.
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Berkeley: University of California Press, pp. Westerbeck, Colin jr. Williams, A. Anthology of excerpted material, mostly from the French literature, translated into Spanish. A chapter on each film, including Le Diable probablement. Extensive formal analyses of the narrative structures of five of the later films, which Hanlon uses to argue that all narrative elements in a Bresson film carry equal weight and come to full significance only when considered in relation to his work as a whole. The first chapter is a "topical analysis" of Une Femme douce , including a comparison to the Dostoevsky story and a discussion of point of view.
The last chapter, on Lancelot du Lac , is an unusual discussion of the poetic dialogue and voice intonations in that film, which well illustrates the care Bresson takes even with the construction of dialogue. Uses the film as a textbook example of the uses and effects of sound. Bory, Jean-Louis , 'Dracula, sans doute. Review of Le Diable probablement describing it as a horror story that expresses Bresson's abhorrence of the world and pushes his ideas to their inevitable extrene. Dense analysis of the complex presentation of point of view in Au hasard, Balthazar , which allows the spectator to view the film as "aesthetic image" or imaginative object, and Balthazar as a "special sign" or religious subject.
Browne contrasts the allegorical functioning, which pushes the film toward its religious meaning, and the story functioning, which is lacking in "narrative necessity" because it is ordered by chance. He amply illustrates the "strategies of dissociation" in the action, characterization, music, etc. Finally, he argues that the film presents a "restructuring of the relations" between character, spectator, and narrator that "reexamines the premises and means of narration. Burg, Vinzenz B. Review of Le Diable probablement that lauds Bresson's persistence in refining the language of film, but is critical of the social-political context of the problems presented in it.
Clurman, Harold , 'Film Festival I. Positive review of Le Diable probablement and its "unsentimental compassion. Detailed discussion of sound in Le Diable probablement as it illustrates Bresson's pessimistic view of human speech as a carrier of truth. Daney analyzes several scenes, most successfully the one referred to in the title, in which a group discussion of modern Catholicism in a Gothic cathedral is punctuated and drowned out, in turn, by an organ being tuned and a vacuum cleaning the carpet.
It is a "Bressonian heterology: the high organ , the low discussion , and the trivial that destroys the simple opposition of high and low the vacuum cleaner.
Daney redefines the "famed Bressonian voice" as one that requires only the slightest opening of the mouth, that reduces as much as possible the recognition of the effort of emission; for the voice is the whole person weak though that may be while the mouth is clear, obvious, a hole "for the pleasure of the devil. Review of Le Diable probablement emphasizing the increasing darkness of Bresson's vision, his religious unorthodoxy on the question of suicide, and the film's complete absence of any consoling social or religious element.
Positive review of Le Diable probablement : The first fictional film to adopt the stance of the ecologists and an "unpitying, ferocious satire on consumer society.