The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir
Claude Lanzmann, Frank Wynne
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
"Even if I lived a hundred lives, I still wouldn't be exhausted." These words capture the intensity of the experiences of Claude Lanzmann, a man whose acts have always been a negation of resignation: a member of the French Resistance at sixteen, a friend to Jean-Paul Sartre and a lover to Simone de Beauvoir, and the director of movies including one of the most important films in the history of cinema, Shoah.
In these pages, Lanzmann composes a hymn to life that flows from memory yet has the rhythm of a novel, as tumultuous as it is energetic. The Patagonian Hare is the story of a man who has searched at every moment for existential adventure, who has committed himself deeply to what he believes in, and who has made his life a battle.
The Patagonian Hare, a number-one bestseller in France, has been translated into Spanish, German, Italian, Hebrew, Polish, Dutch, and Portuguese. Filmmaker Claude Lanzmann's brilliant memoir has been widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, was hailed as "a true literary and historic event" in the pages of Le Monde, and was awarded the prestigious Welt-Literaturpreis in Germany.
know,’ she said. To go on lying was out of the question. I sat down next to her, took her in my arms and confessed everything. An immense relief spread over her features; truth was her business – in fact, lying to her had been absurd and criminal on my part – and immediately her optimism and sense of action took over. She began by interrogating me about ‘the other woman’, perfectly prepared to accept that she was in love with me and I with her; Castor wanted to meet her and concur with all the
assistant at the Freie Universität Berlin – the newly created university in West Berlin, since the old Humboldt university was in the Russian sector and under Soviet control. I left for Berlin one icy November morning. It was the first time I had ever taken a plane and my excitement at this harsh baptism of air merged with that of my destination: I would be flying to the East. Aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress, we sat like parachutists, in lines that ran the length of the body of the plane, through
they also allow me to engage in the most difficult interrogation, which triggers the second moment in the sequence: ‘What was your impression the first time you saw arriving these naked women with children, what did you feel?’ Abraham avoids, dodges the question, the conversation continues with other details about the process of cutting the hair, designed to deceive these women in the last minutes of their lives, making them think, by the use of scissors and combs rather than clippers, of a man’s
saving her, but they could not say how long they would be able to keep her alive: if they took her off ventilation she would die. I was in an awkward position: Shoah was a major event in the United States and I had been invited to tour several cities and universities. I had told Dan to decline all invitations, that I could not possibly leave Paris. But a ceremony of great solemnity and importance for Americans had been organized in Los Angeles months earlier: the B’nai B’rith (whose
French surrealist movement. He had been praised to the skies, been excommunicated, come back into favour, he had been a member of every faction, every group. He cared little: every month a cheque arrived promptly from his father’s bank. This extraordinary freedom came to an abrupt end with the war, a few short months after he and my mother first met on one of the red banquettes in La Coupole in Montparnasse and fell head over heels in love. This mad passion had given him the courage and the