Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944: Collaboration, Resistance, and Daily Life in Occupied Paris

(Author) (Translator)
21,000+ Reviews
Bookshop.org has the highest-rated customer service of any bookstore in the world
Product Details
Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.3 X 1.3 inches | 1.35 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate
About the Author
Jean Guéhenno was a French writer and intellectual.

David Ball is Professor Emeritus of French and Comparative Literature, Smith College.
"This first English translation of Guéhenno's diary offers a new and important lens through which to understand the experience of foreign occupation. Those who teach about the occupation through English-language texts and their students will warmly welcome this edition of the diary. So will a wider audience of readers who have an interest in French history and culture, especially those who are eager to know more about war and occupation from a personal, closely observed, grass roots perspective."--Sandra Ott, H-France

"A model writer and intellectual who neither collaborated nor accommodated the enemy, [Guéhenno] refused to publish a single word as long as his country was under Nazi control. A leading essayist of the Popular Front, regularly skewered by the far right, he vowed, as of July 1940, to confine his thoughts and feelings to a private journal. It is a mystery why 'Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944, ' first published in 1947 and still a standard reference in France, is only now appearing in English in a fine translation by David Ball....Mr. Ball, who has succeeded in giving Guéhenno's grand diction the emotional charge it has in the original French, has provided extensive notes, as well as a biographical dictionary, so that no reference is left obscure."--The New York Times

"Compelling....[C]risply translated, a fascinating blend of inward monologue and acute exterior observations."--Wall Street Journal

"I was struck repeatedly by the beauty, the passion, the elegance of Guéhenno's words as rendered in English....For today's readers, Diary of the Dark Years, 1940-1944 is not just a cautionary tale about freedom lost but a thought-provoking story of how an abiding love of country and determined courage can help regain it."--Chicago Tribune

"Every once in a while, however, an extraordinary document comes along to remind us that the books matter. The diary kept by the French writer and critic Jean Guéhenno during the German occupation of France from 1940 to 1944 is one such document....[A] genuinely important and enthralling book, and its publication in English in an excellent, fluid, and expertly annotated translation by David Ball is a welcome and long overdue event."--The New Republic

"This first English translation flows easily, greatly aided by both a biographical dictionary and Ball's explanatory footnotes regarding historical events. Easily adaptable for class/group readings, Guéhenno's diary, first published in 1947, emotionally depicts WWII through his despair over France's invasion; wry observations of the 'gray men' populating the darkened, desolate city; exhaustion and, ultimately, joy."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

"Ball's work...is exemplary. Ball does full justice to the powerful prose of Guéhenno, a highly principled man of letters and teacher of literature who refused to published a single line as long as his country endured 'the anguish of servitude'....Essential."--CHOICE

"[A] significant book, now made accessible to an anglophone audience in what is a powerful translation....[Diary of the Dark Years] is a rewarding work worth savouring slowly, as you dip into the life and mind of Jean Guéhenno."--H-France