Published covertly in Nazi-occupied France, this was a publication for the French people, a sort of “guide for la Resistance” to this country still dazed and reeling from the invasion. There were underground publications of newspapers going on, but Vercors approached a publisher to do this larger project. It is a short story, only 50 pages, but still very good and with psychological depth in its intricacies of symbolism and character interactions, as well as an inspiring greater message.
The story enfolds as two lower soldiers examine the narrator’s house. Several comings and goings later a soldier tells the man and his niece that there will be an officer staying in their house. When they meet him he is actually fluent in French and very polite. Still, neither the niece nor the narrator utter a word or even acknowledge him. This was the start of an unspoken agreement that they would continue their lives as usual as if he had never came. Continue reading