Snippet: Prix Goncourt for a novel on the Spanish Civil War

The 2014 Prix Goncourt went to Lydie Salvayre (1948, Wikipedia), daughter of Civil War refugees from Spain, for Pas pleurer [Don’t cry], a novel that centers on the Spanish Civil War.

The publisher’s description:

Two intertwined voices. The rebellious one of Bernanos, a direct witness of the Spanish Civil War, that denounces the terror exercised by the nationals [Franco & co.] with the blessing of the [Catholic] Church against the “undeserving poor.” And the invigorating voice of Montse, the narrator’s mother and an “undeserving poor”, who erased everything from her memory except for the magic days of the libertarian insurrection in parts of Spain during the beginning of the war, which she considers among the most intense of her life. Two voices, two visions that resonate strangely with our present and reveal the romantic art of Lydie Salvayre in full force, between violence and lightness, between brutality and finesse, supported by a sometimes flawless, sometimes gleefully manhandled prose.

The Wikipedia article on Salvayre lists the five novels that have already been translated into English.

SOURCE: The Guardian, Nov. 5, 2014; Seuil (publisher)


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