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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Song at the Scaffold Gertrud von Le Fort




I have to admit that this short novel came as something of a disappointment.  Perhaps my expectations were set much too high by so many reviewers.

Ms. von Le Fort tells the story of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne--seventeen Carmelites who were executed just before the end of the Terror.  She tells the story from the point of view of one who, while desiring most of all martyrdom, is trapped in the martyrdom of the one who escaped.

Short, easy to read, but not at all what I expected from a book so highly praised.  It suggests that I need to go back and reread. Or perhaps better, return to the short opera by Fracois Poulenc which the work inspired--"Dialogue of the Carmelites."

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