Loading...

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre

The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre

Author:Pierre Lemaitre [Lemaitre, Pierre]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: War, Historical, French Fiction, Crime Fiction
ISBN: 9781623659073
Google: YbZMjwEACAAJ
Amazon: B014Q0VVVG
Goodreads: 26715912
Publisher: MacLehose Press
Published: 2013-08-20T19:00:00+00:00


Patriotic Memories

Memorials, statues, stelae

in commemoration of our heroes

& in celebration of a victorious France

Catalog

“You want to sell war memorials?”

Yes. That’s right. Édouard is thrilled with his scheme, he slaps his thighs, making that strange keening sound in his throat, Albert does not know where it comes from, only that he finds it grating.

Albert finds it difficult to understand why anyone would want to make war memorials, but the figure of 300,000,000 francs has managed to flutter into his imagination: it means “mansion,” like the townhouse of M. Péricourt, it means “limousine,” even “palace,” it means . . . he blushes—“women” was what he thought—and for a fleeting second he pictures the little housemaid with the devastating smile. It is natural: when you have money, you want a woman to share it with.

He reads the lines that follow, an advertisement written in block capitals so neat it looks as though it has been printed:

“. . . AND IN YOUR GRIEF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO KEEP ALIVE THE MEMORY OF THE CHILDREN FROM YOUR TOWN, YOUR VILLAGE, WHO WITH THEIR VERY BODIES MADE A LIVING RAMPART AGAINST THE INVADER.”

“This is all very well,” Albert says. “Actually, I think it’s a good idea . . .”

Now he understands why he was so disappointed by the drawings; they are not meant to represent an artistic sensibility but to express a collective grief, to appeal to the wider public, who need sensation, who need heroism.

Later in the paragraph: “. . . TO ERECT A MONUMENT WORTHY OF YOUR COMMUNITY AND OF THOSE HEROES WHO YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO HOLD UP AS AN EXAMPLE TO FUTURE GENERATIONS. ACCORDING TO YOUR RESOURCES AND YOUR BUDGET, THE MEMORIALS DEPICTED IN THIS CATALOG CAN BE SUPPLIED IN MARBLE, GRANITE, BRONZE, CAST STONE. OR COPPER ELECTROTYPE . . .”

“But your plans sound a little complicated . . . ,” Albert says. “First, because it’s not enough to draw the memorials, you have to sell them; and second, once you’ve sold them, someone has to make them! You’d need money, employees, a factory, raw materials . . .”

He is staggered at just how just how difficult it would be to set up a foundry.

“. . . and even if you can get them made, the memorials would have to be transported and erected on the site . . . You’d need lots of money!”

It always comes down to this. To money. Even the most industrious people cannot simply rely on energy. Albert smiles gently and pats his friend’s knee.

“All right, listen, we’ll think about it. I think it’s great that you feel you want to work again, though I’m not sure this is the best way to go about it. Memorials are complicated. But let’s not worry about that. The most important thing is that you’ve found your passion again, isn’t it?”

No. Edward clenches his fist and saws at the air as though polishing a pair of shoes. The message is clear: No, we have to act now!

“Act now, act now .



Download



Copyright Disclaimer:
This site does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to content provided by other sites. Please contact the content providers to delete copyright contents if any and email us, we'll remove relevant links or contents immediately.