2 May 2022
My Northern French novel is the fictional story that emerged within my writing of THE DAWN. I had to extract it from the storyline and save it “For Later.”
That Master Book called THE DAWN persists in holding, for its author, all sorts of embedded fiction for other novels. Those bits and pieces of literature I carefully and lovingly retrieved, from mid-2016 until January 2021, during my translation of this 2-volume book into L’AUBE.
In many ways, THE LAST WALTZ is the novel that I’d wanted THE DAWN to be. My creation, however, of that tome was steered, and oftentimes, hemmed in, by some very evident practical necessities of the plot line. Freedom of movement for my characters was de rigueur for as long as the drama of life in wartime Provence permitted, or until the complete Occupation of France by the Nazis in November 1942.
The artistic realization of this war novel set in Provence was also profoundly affected by my startling realizations of the ignorance of legions of individuals in America regarding:
the history of World War II, World War I, the Korean Conflict, the Civil War, the Vietnam War, and just about any accurately documented chronicle of momentous events during the glorious, gory and imperfect centuries that have been the American experiment in democracy.
Be the entity an individual or a country, the pathway to a truthful and happy future is paved with indisputable facts about the past: the ugly past, the horrid past, the wretched past, the woeful past filled with so many wrongs that, unbeknownst to so many free people luxuriating in a free land, got righted, and magnificently so.
Sleazy people produce sleazy commodities. In time, their brands go belly-up, no matter how much, how often, and how monotonously the public gets force-fed the b.s. of PR, hipster-slick advertising, blarney-polled marketing, and ludicrously photoshopped “reality”.
Even Josef Stalin and his photo-cropped disappearing commissars; even Adolf Hitler and his propaganda-machine beating the citizenry to death; even Philippe Petain and his ubiquitous blue eyes plastered all over the walls and buildings of France — they couldn’t whip the truth to death.
Distortions and jaw-dropping deceptions and myths about the history of any nation, when amorally perpetuated, accepted, promoted, and profited from — by the lazy, power-glutted oligarchs in charge of mass-information:
there is the sure and swift road to repeating the most vile mistakes of the past, along with adding unmeasurable levels of degradation to any democracy, to any society, to any civilization.
The avenues to the Dark Years in France were paved by more than twenty years, between the wars, entre les guerres, of squalid, smelly corruption within the Third Republic. That fleecing of and defecating on La Patrie was not fully vanquished by an ignominious surrender by its craven government to the godless enemy known as the Nazis, the National Socialists of Germany; or by the brutal and dehumanizing Occupation of la France by that immortal enemy. Indeed, the socialist-takers and navel-gazers in France began to line up at the postwar trough long before the war ended.
In some ways, France is more corrupt today that it was during the years leading up to the collapse of the French Army and the Third Republic. The bureaucratic globalist socialist-elite scheme named the EU has added its own lurid and liberty-smothering layers to the French political cake of fraud, graft, venality, breaches of trust, and worker-exploitation through jobbery of the jobs.
Sounds a lot like les États-Unis, the United States. C’est un petit monde partout et après tout!
The presumed governance of my own nation, America, is moronically and madly mired in a fossilized and feckless feeding at the taxpayer trough of Guvmint. The decades of chaos and cannibalizing corruption have reached the inevitable point of decay and decadence that have hollowed out a once-revered Federal Government. The buffoon-shills in the media have become flanked, if not fanatically overtaken, by the morons of an unconstitutional Ministry of Truth, led by a dingbat dominatrix of putrid propaganda.
The squalor and the squealing of the pigs in my nation are echoing the ferociously evil notes of the almost-forgotten past. The past, the true past, and its truth are, nonetheless, never forgotten. Those truths may be silenced, and they have been silenced, and buried, and stuffed into foxholes.
The foxes are coming out of those holes, and so is the truth, all of it.
This noxious tune has been played before, though it’s scarcely remembered. I’ve no doubt the years surrounding the U.S. Civil War, with its assassination of a noble and heroic President, those years also knew the funeral songs of more than slain war heroes and their Commander in Chief. The hallowed musical library of the history of the United States reverberates, unabated, with the sacred notes of fallen patriots each time the National Anthem is played, and sung.
In Shakespeare the absence of music portends evil. I ask anyone involved in betraying his, or her, own country to hum a few notes, in tune, of the national anthem that binds together hearts in love of that country. The heartless among patriots are atonal traitors, the men and women without countries, acting on behalf of their nation to hustle that body politic. Those men and women without countries perform their warm-up acts for souls without a home, save that found in hell.
The notes of this novel entitled THE LAST WALTZ are quite personal for me. I’d little notion that after 2012 the world outside would descend into the blatant depravity that had begun to reveal itself during that fateful year. The tones of those quite personal notes are more intimate and sorrowful than were those of the memorable music that serenaded my hours of composing THE DAWN. That war novel was much more about the past. This one feels exceedingly about the future.
“I’ll Be Seeing You” was, for me, a stunningly sincere song of promise during the e-publication of THE DAWN on Labor Day weekend of 2012. That euphonic entreaty thereafter became an inspirational quest during my summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016. Inevitably, that musical composition evolved into a vow, a creative commitment to compose this northern French novel. I hope to complete THE LAST WALTZ by this coming Labor Day weekend of 2022.
The voyage for me from Camille Richarde in Roussillon, Provence, to Sophia Charpentier in Saint-Hubert in north-eastern France, that journey — both literary and personal — has been far more spontaneous than planned. The guideposts that I wrote during the summer of 2008 to encourage friends and colleagues to stay the course of hope and faith and, above all, charity, those guideposts unexpectedly revealed to this author a commanding voice for THE DAWN.
After 2012, the blueprints, timelines, intentions, and decisions of my life were altered, swayed, bent, and sanctified — because of people who came into my world, and then had to leave; and because of the people into whose worlds I entered, and had to leave.
During August 2017, after writing THE POINT OF THE SWORD, I happened upon three acres of land for sale in the Sierra Nevada foothills. That unpaved road called to me, and I took it, all the way to the completion of my dream home during the summer of 2020.
The voices of cherished friends no longer with me remain with me as I create, during this summer, this novel that they inspired.
Psalm 24, Verse I states:
The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Thus it is that the earth upon which I live and dream and work and create brings to me the fulfillment of fictions that had their first beginnings more than a decade ago. Like a tender symphony within my heart and upon my mind, the notes of THE LAST WALTZ play.
I hope that one day, or night, soon, you shall hear that melody with joy and anticipation.