Many are the pleasures of a novelist when she discovers, or re-discovers, elements of her writing that she had long forgotten. Pour La Victoire, For Victory, is the title of the first book of Volume II of L’AUBE, or THE DAWN. I embark upon this volume with jubilation.
The ending of the previous volume, c’est-à-dire, the final chapters of Volume I, recalled many memories for me. Those months of my life during 2010-2011 took place in an America that felt a lot less live-able than it does in the here and now. I’d quite intentionally blocked-out any attention to The News, and I soon realized that the less attention that I paid to any “News”, the more accurately I ascertained current events and life in America — and in the world.
The same truism holds true today. The world “outside”, as concocted and presented to the public by a cynical Media, is a dismal distortion of reality. I’d always believed that sad state of affairs to be the case. During 2010-2011, while I wrote Volume II of THE DAWN, I confirmed that bizarre “reality”.
Back then, I inhabited the world of Camille Richarde and Arthur Boucher Carmichael, of Guillaume de Vallon, of Madame Charbonnet, and of the Marquet family: Pascal, Marie, Julien, Corinne, little Lisette Noelle, and the oldest child, Gustave, a prisoner-of-war in a labor camp in Bulson, Germany. I struggled with the dastardly deeds of cowards who wore uniforms of virtue, and I exulted in the nobility of heart of the brave women and the brave men whose names were lost amidst the vortex of history.
I chose to steer this grand ship of fiction into the port of e-publishing over Labor Day Weekend, 2012, when the world revolving around so many of the people whom I knew and loved was jeopardized by forces beyond their control; but there were also the forces of faith and patience within their control. And I steadfastly refused to believe that the best days are over for America, or for France, or for Great Britain.
I still hold those tenets very close to my heart. Camille begins Pour La Victoire, the first book of Volume II, in a hauntingly dramatic setting wherein she protects a single egg newly laid by her Andalusian hen — from hundreds of large starlings and their loud raucous cries. She then tends to a man whom she no longer recognizes as her beloved aristocrat. He arrives at the maison d’été with 3 Crèvecœur chicks, and the acceptance that his life can no longer be separated from that of Camille. She has already faced this agonizing fact, but she will not stand between him and his destiny. She instead helps to lead him to it.
My voyage through composing the French version of THE DAWN is, each and every day, an affirmation of my years of creating this glorious story that unfolds like the forbidden Tricolore against the backdrop of war, death, love, birth, history, and the illusion of peace. This compelling voyage pits honor against perfidy, heroism against treachery, light against darkness.
On a more cheerful, and perhaps comical note, I find heart-warming tidbits in my fiction that express my stalwart defense of language — in any tongue! A depiction of the Marquet baby reveals that she is not yet mobile and could not yet speak adult language. She is nonetheless “quite vocal, offering all of the pitches and the sounds of baby talk which were part of her panoply of playing and watching others around her. . .”
When I began to home-school my children during the late 1990s, I had to fill out all kinds of forms and paperwork, justifying my choice. The paperwork proceeded apace as the years passed by. It became so onerous at some point that I decided to bury the Educrats in their own paperwork!
One form in particular that I recall was an administrative inquisition into the language(s) spoken by my children. In response to the question as to what was the first language spoken by each child, I wrote:
From the mouths of children can come the most startling of truths. It is my hope that from the pen of this writer the most startling of truths appeared, in L’AUBE, with the purity and honesty of baby-talk that have arrived at adult wisdom.