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review 2017-02-21 18:05
At least it is not the Flies
Paris Under the Occupation - Jean-Paul Sartre,Lisa Lieberman
Sartre and I have a history. On the one hand, I have read No Exit in French, and quite frankly, you have never experienced life until you have seen a French Professor who is a nun search for the French word for nymphomaniac and then finish the sentence with like Blanche from the Golden Girls. On the other read, my boring college philosophy teacher talked about The Flies / Les Mouches every darn day. So it's a complicated relationship.

Like many of the Occupied French Sartre's relationship with the Germans was confused as well (I think all of Sartre's relationships are confused but that is just me). Yet, I think if you are trying to understand or to reach an understanding about France during WW II, you must read this essay. In particular with An Eye for an Eye.


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review 2017-02-03 00:02
THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah
The Nightingale - Kristin Hannah
  I loved it. I liked the characters. I enjoyed trying to figure out who was telling the story. The story captivated me. There were heroes and villains. How people survived the occupation amazes me. Each does what they can to survive and fight. I don't want to say much because I don't want to ruin the story but this is a keeper.
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review 2015-06-07 17:01
One of the darkest moments in the history of the "City of Lights."
Nazi Paris: The History of an Occupation, 1940-1944 - Allan Mitchell

Though often attacked and frequently the center of social and political turmoil, Paris has rarely been subject to occupying powers. In this respect, the four-year German occupation of Paris during World War II represents an unusual episode in the history of the metropolis, one that remains controversial to this day. Though numerous books have been written dealing aspects of this time, Alan Mitchell's book is the first to take advantage of French archival collections heretofore inaccessible due to their sensitive nature. This forms the great strength of the book and also its great weakness, as Mitchell provides not a comprehensive examination of Paris during the Nazi years but a narrower study of the German administration of Paris.

This is a history that is more complicated than it might seem, as the Germans established a regime of overlapping jurisdictions that often worked at cross-purposes with each other. One of the greatest strengths of Mitchell's account is his effort to disentangle this to show how it worked. His method of doing so is to divide the Occupation years into three periods, roughly corresponding to the establishment of the Occupation, the tightening of German control, and the effort to hold on as it was increasingly evident that Germany would lose the war. Within this approach Mitchell divides Occupation policy into descriptions of official administration and security efforts, propaganda, economic policy, and the harassment and discrimination of the Jews. Through it all Mitchell shows that the Germans' "model occupation," was anything but, with policy often riven by political infighting and the competing demands of governance and winning the ongoing war. Occasionally Mitchell loses focus, as his study of Paris can blur into a larger study of occupation policy in France itself. This is a minor complaint, however, given the perhaps inevitable intertwining of the two, and it does nothing to detract from the value of Mitchell's study of one of the darkest moments in the history of the "City of Lights." 

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review 2015-03-20 00:00
l'occupation - Annie Ernaux "J’ai réussi à combler de mots l’image et le nom absents de celle qui, durant six mois, a continué de se maquiller, de vaquer à ses cours, de parler et de jouir, sans soupçonner qu’elle vivait aussi ailleurs, dans la tête et la peau d’une autre femme."

Un texte court très juste sur la douleur qui survient après une séparation, sur cette jalousie de l'autre, de "la nouvelle", que l'on cherche à décrypter à travers tous les mots, tous les gestes, cette "autre" qui habite peu à peu à l'intérieur de soi en dévorant tout de l'intérieur comme une sorte de ressac de la douleur. Extrêmement bien décrit dans ces quelques pages, le processus de la jalousie post-rupture et du détachement se défile au long des pages pour finir par se défaire lentement de "l'autre" et continuer sa vie.
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text 2015-02-08 15:17
Poor execution.
Occupation - lazarusInfinity Occupation - lazarusInfinity

"From the days of working hand in hand with former governor Edwin Edwards, the family even had ties with the infamous 'Godfather of New Orleans' in Carlos Marcello."


Even at eight percent in, I could tell this would be a winner in my shitty writing month.   Really, in is unnecessary: 'Godfather of New Orleans', Carlos Marcello would make more sense. 


"'Got these gays running around screaming for their rights, destroying the very fabric of Americana, soiling the population with their degenerate indecency and disease...and that's why we have this 'problem' now.'"


Dear character, 



"His long dreadlocks pulled back revealed quite a deceptive face; one that could show tremendous warmth and humor one minute followed by intense fury and vengeance the next."


I don't understand how this makes his face deceptive.   Expressive, yes, but does that make him deceptive if he feels warm and fuzzy one minute, and intensely furious the next?


"Military and media proscenia abound, many wondered if nNew Orleans would actually survive the madness."


Yeah, this about sums up the whole book.   


"...the car was a thing of beauty.  Sleek.   Swift.   Badass."


It's a fucking MINI Cooper.  



Metallicar is way more sleek, and badass. 


"Standing in the doorway, the 'woman's' could tattered clothing smear with blood was enough to make one wretch."


I suppose she could be classified as a wretch at this point.   Retch is a different thing, though. 


"The closer they got to the top; they could hear random movement about from inside."


I just have no words. 


"The man inched closer, his eyes glowing with rage as he snarled towards them."


I don't know what snarling looks like.   Is that like stalking towards someone?  Stomping?    So may better s words to indicate movement.  Even angry movement. 


"In a flash, he mounted the woman and bashed what was left of her face in, leaving a gruesome pool of blood and brain on the carpet."

Bloodiest sex scene ever?   Perhaps another word - one not used for fucking someone - should have been used in place of 'mounting'.


"An admirable man, one of those few old school types left in the neighborhood that was also a remarkable musician."


This is just poorly phrased.   'An admirable man, a remarkable musical, and one of the few old school types left in the neighborhood.'   Slight difference, but it doesn't makes this flow much, much better. 


"Quickly met with a middle finger, Caroling wasted no time in greeting Barabbas with a passionate kiss."


Yeah, the syntax in this whole book is funky.   


"Caroline was usually the epitome of calm, cool and collected."


You don't have to define calm, after telling us she's calm.


"Caroline thanked the old man with her usual kiss on the cheek, to which he was clearly a sucker for."

Call an editor.   Stat. 




The fact that they conflate these two, and coming from Caroline, who has a medical background, is just annoying all all hell.


"The familiar whir or police cars, military and fire trucks buzzed through the city."

I'm not sure I'd use whir or buzz for these cars, particularly since they have sirens that they could be using at this point, but if I did?  I'd stick to one.   A whir and a buzz are quite different sounds, so which is it?


"Donning his prized Drew Brees jersey complete with fingerless driving gloves and eye black, he pulled forward a shotgun mounted on the wall and loaded it."


'Donning his prized Drew Brees jersey, he completed the look with fingerless driving gloves and eye black, before pulling a shotgun off the mount on the wall and loaded it.'


Again, I used almost the exact same sentence structure and wording, but changed a couple things to make it cleaner.   


"...far more deadlier..."


Redundancy is redundant.   


"'We need to keep as many of them out of this neighborhood.'"


I love that this sentence just doesn't end. 


"His one true love that set his heart aflame amongst the stars of Heaven would be patiently waiting for him..."


See, she just died.   So what he means is that she'd be waiting for him in Heaven.   Instead, it sounds like she set his heart aflame when they had both visited the start of Heaven before.   


Fail, book, fail. 







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