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10 thoughts on “On Leave

  1. says:

    I read the edition translated by David Bellos Penguin 2014As I have not read the original French text I cannot say whether it is poorly translated or difficult to translate However I found the novel dull and depressing and in some places either lacking in meaning or lacking in context Maybe Anselme meant it to be read like this but it's not easy going Some good poignant political points about the war in Algeria Colonialism and the psychological effects of war however


  2. says:

    I tried to enjoy this I really really didThis book describes a week in the life of 3 soldiers while on leave creative enough title eh The 3 men are drafted into an army Algerian War era 1954 1962that they have no ambition to be a part of and shares their actions and thoughts during the aforementioned timeframe The inner sleeve describes this as delving deep within the psychology of the mind of a soldier that has seen the atrocities of war; the inner turmoil that changes a manwoman for the rest of their lives While that may be the case in general I didn't see much of this from Anselme The writing seems well thought out Anselme was a soldier as well but the characters the story is based upon aren't naturally developed and instead of focusing on the war aspect it seems as though it was politically basedNot a total waste of time but I can reasonably say that of all the fiction I've read on war this might be the weakest


  3. says:

    Written in 1956 this novel about three French conscripts on leave from the police action in Algeria sank without much of a trace following its original publication in 1957 Its appearance in the early years of what was to be an extremely bloody and costly war for control of Algeria was an unwelcome poke in the eye of French citizens who only shortly after being routed from Vietnam probably weren't too keen to hear voices dissenting from the fight to retain their largest and most important overseas territory The translator's introduction does an excellent job of providing this necessary context for the reader The book itself lurches around in despair as the three men vacillate between trying to have a good time in Paris and the fury and frustration of being conscripts in a war that no one seems to notice back home American readers will no doubt find striking parallels not only to our Vietnam experience but also the present day wars in Ira and Afghanistan While the former was a conscript situation and the latter ostensibly with volunteer forces it's hard not to see an element of economic conscription in the modern US forces In any event the cries of the three soldiers of this book that their youth is being suandered and that they don't know what their fighting for and no one can understand what they are going through and there's no end in sight all resonate as just as clearly some 55 years later As fiction with an urgent message it works however the style is ragged and staccato There are some great set scenes here and there most notably a very uncomfortable family meal but its too fragmentary for my taste There's a blend of some aspects of existentialist themes with the jazzy looseness of the New Wave cinema that was bubbling up just at the time the novel was published Probably mainly of interest to readers of French literature and those with an interest in fiction with a political stance


  4. says:

    No matter how well written they are I have trouble reading the stories in The Yellow Birds and Redeployment The wars in Ira and Afghanistan are too painful too recent; the savage ruin of human life so pointless I'm wondering if that's how the French felt when La Permission appeared in 1957 in the midst of France's vicious war for Algeria According to translator David Bellos the novel had few readers and only a handful of reviews It was never reprintedAnselme's short novel takes a long time to get anywhere but it gathers force in the last 50 pages and ends with a powerful almost cinematically despairing scene of soldiers being returned to the front The three young men on leave are men the civilized world prefers to ignore Anselme's bitterness is palpableParis likes its soldiers only when they're parading tamely on the other side of white crowd control barriers But it looks down at them and doesn't want to see them when they're close up In no other city are people so full of crude nationalist bluster and yet so easily ruffled so refined so tasteful and so selfish Paris being elegant is ashamed of its badly dressed soldiers yet it constantly consumes whole cohorts of them painting itself with their blood morning noon and night like a tart using lipstick That's what was going through Lachaume's mind as he crossed Pont de la ConcordeThis polemic doesn't align itself with a political position Anselme is simply enraged by the waste


  5. says:

    One of the things I appreciated most about On Leave was that and how much it highlighted the mundane the business of everyday living as opposed to the Xs and Os of war and I felt this way for two reasons 1 most of life is mundane even for soldiers and 2 when a novelist gets into the mapping of battle and motives and causes and outcomes we as readers begin either rationalizing or condemning the conflict under discussion and if the writer's hope is to demonstrate the horrific waste of war the focus must be on what has been lost on the shells the soldiers are in the process of becoming Anselme nails this he doesn't give a damn about whether or not the war is useless or can be justified because one shouldn't give a damn War lays waste to the futures and welfare and health of those who fight it and because those futures are precious nothing else matters Some reviewers see a thinness of character development but I think Anselme gives us a great deal in his protagonists with which to empathize Lachaume's abandonment and his fear of confronting his wife and the grotesue existence of such a fear in a world riddled with much immediately pressing things to fear like death on a battlefield; Valette's having been pressed into a conflict that he is at ideological odds with and the impotent rage he feels about needing his family to do what he cannot to vouchsafe his future; Lasteyrie's randiness and his flouting of convention and rules as means to reclaiming his sense of self from the political and militaristic mechanisms that have appropriated it if the characters ever feel less fleshed out or well rounded than we're accustomed to seeing characters it's because their own ideas about what they have become and are becoming is dictated by one thing and one thing only the need to live and their belief that they will not If the other characters feel like faces that merely enter the frame on occasion it's because they are our protagonists don't know them any The book therefore pins down the experience of alienation almost as well as I've ever seen a writer address that theme and I found it all exceedingly moving at times particularly in Anselme's development of the theme in images metaphors and situations most obviously Lachaume's irrational paralyzing fear during the lunch at the Valette home that he and Valette were in fact dead; and most beautifully in Lachaume's observation of the man and woman walking ahead of him holding hands and parting when oncoming pedestrians force them to only to return to one another's side to touch hands how easy it is to take connection for granted how unbearable when the circumstances of one's life have made connection impossibleAnother thing I really loved is how good the translation must be I don't read French but one can tell a bad translation if the prose feels labored or overly concerned with ornamentation see Archer's translation of Kristin Lavransdatter for a bad example Nunnally's translation of it for a good example This translation reads so lucidly and so like a novel written in the mid late 50s as it was that the translation feels like a noteworthy achievement The prose felt a little like Salinger's at times and a great deal like the prose one finds in Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's and Plath's The Bell Jar it's crisp and contained and precise And the novel felt very much cut from the cloth of its time and place thematically too as I was reading I was increasingly reminded of one of my favorite films Cleo from 5 to 7 released in 1962 and in which we see in real time a French pop star wandering around Paris as she awaits the results of a cancer test she like the soldiers in On Leave is killing time as she awaits a terminal likelihood or eventuality and during her walk she encounters and befriends a young soldier waiting to disembark for Algeria Both the Anselme novel and the Agnes Varda film are piercing contemplations of feeling wholly cut off from collective existence wholly adrift and incapable of even knowing what to do with one's terror I appreciate the different ways Anselme allows this to manifest in his narrative whether it's Lachaume's flashes of anger Valette's breakdown in the arms of his father on the train platform or Lasteyrie's constant gaming of controlled systems which seems an attempt by him to persuade himself that if a phone booth or a pinball game can be manipulated perhaps his fate can too I really loved these characters as characters and as peopleI also loved how evocative the novel was how canny its descriptions of Paris bit even so how canny its descriptions of one's apprehension of place I've never been to Paris but as the characters walk along the Seine marveling at the view's power to intoxicate I was reminded of my need of Wyoming's open spaces and my adoration of London The lunch scene was my favorite bit in the book in large part because it showed powerfully the disconnect between life as it is and life as idealists wish it were and just how raw and filled with sorrow the space between those positions those who live in the world and those who condemn that world from a distance because of its failure to suare with their political dreams can be We see a similar disconnect in the novel's first scenes with the veteran reciting his memoirs war has become some romanticized thing to him and is anything but for the protagonists there beginning a respite from it If characters are talking of frog legs and snails it's partly because they're purposefully avoiding the elephant in the room the crushing devastation these young men have experienced and the horrors they've likely both witnessed and perpetrated Anselme's awareness that human beings skirt these things with small talk rings absolutely true and makes the presence of that elephant in the room all the haunting and heartwrenchingAnyhow loved On Leave It was chosen in my book club and I don't mind saying I was very apprehensive about it It had been a three star book until that lunch scene and then it rose to four stars and might have hit five stars had the last page or so not felt so polemical Anselme made explicit at the very end what had throughout been wonderfully implicit and so the very ending felt like a minor letdown But otherwise bravo Mr Anselme


  6. says:

    I received this as a Goodreads Giveaway While I found this book extremely sad and depressing it gives the American reader a very uniue view of how soldiers in another country France were treated when they came home from an unpopular war These young men were as our Vietnam Vets were treated A difficult read because you want these young men to be understood They have given up their lives for their country so than if they had been killed They come home completely changed while home friends and family continue on their unbroken path There is no understanding of these young men and no one even tries It seems that they must go back to the war in order to avoid the pain of what could have been I am very glad to have read this for the perspective


  7. says:

    You will like this if you enjoyed Erich Maria Remarue's The Road Back Lacks the brutality but stands up well


  8. says:

    Pretty good book about a war I know nothing about Well written and written very near to the time of the Algerian war


  9. says:

    A truly remarkable novel about three soldiers on leave in Paris in the middle of the Algerian War Written in 1957 it describes a seuence of disillusioned but intense experiences in a prose that is simultaneously hallucinatory and crisp This is almost a perfect novel and one that will surely linger long in my memory Each episode and every scene is absolutely correct in its place Anselme's writing style is like a cross between the styles of Camus and Simenon and the result isn't a mess as a blending of two such incompatibles ought to be but a melodic philosophical and yet streetwise concoction that flows along at a heady pace Too contained to be described as a picaresue the novel nonetheless progresses from one rejected 'lesson' to another as the three soldiers fail to readjust to the life they once knew This is an angry sensitive enthralling disturbing political fantasia that never ceases to be brutally and beautifully real


  10. says:

    I really enjoyed this book I agree that the characters didn't have a chance to really develop but I think that was the point Anselme was perhaps trying to make Soldiers at wartime don't have time to stop and ponder a lot of the existential dilemmas we would like for them to explore On top of that a soldier only has a few days of leave before they are thrust back into foreign territory and world foreign to the average citizen So for me this book was perfect from beginning to endThe train scene in the last few pages was spot on for how the rest of the book ebbed and flowed We finally have this one emotional moment between father and son and naturally the soldier does not want it to end but at the same time is outwardly expressing his desire to not have this emotional moment because he in my opinion has so many internal walls set up against any perceived weaknesses that could distract him from his duty 'Dad You shouldn't have come Look nobody comes You're the only one' He took his kit bags and put his arm around his father p192My absolute favorite scene is when everyone is at dinner I am reminded so much of Daisy's boyfriend Tom Buchanan from The Great Gatsby in Luc To me he is such an arrogant ass What confuses me is how Anselme interprets Luc's obnoxious know it all poor timing rants about why the war shouldn't be happening as 'elouence' p 104 I don't see elouence in him at all He pissed me off throughout this entire chapter Then rightly so and steaming with awkwardness the meal died away like a fire smothered in ashes p 110 I love this line It was a perfect way to describe the nature of Luc and his ability to make everyone around him feel stupid and want to crawl into a corner until everything literally burned awayMy favorite moment from this scene and what sums up everything that Luc doesn't understand or want to see is when Valette finally lets loose a torrent of emotions and attempts to make Luc understand that it will take than broad ambiguous change to prevent wars from continuing to break out and that war isn't just some far away idealism that people enjoy protesting within the safety of their own borders He says What wil they have got out of it if things go on at this rate? Maybe a motor scooter from the bonus if they save it up But what else? What will they get out of it apart from a motor scooter? What will they bring back in their heads? In their hearts? All our youth all our lives are being wasted away p116 I love this uote because it defines what every soldier understands to be the truth of war whether in the US Army in 2014 or the Foreign Legion in the 20th century that no one can truly empathize with men who have been in war The true devastation is not on the battlefield after everyone goes home True devastation lives in the mind of every man and woman who has fought for their country's freedomThat is what I liked so much about this book It communicated such a delicate idea in a swift and exacting manner


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READ ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Daniel Anselme

A long lost French novel in which three soldiers return home from an unpopular unspeakable warWhen On Leave was published in Paris in 1957 as France's engagement in Algeria became ever bloody it told people things they did not want to hear It vividly described what it was like for soldiers to return home from an unpopular war in a faraway place The book received a h I read the edition translated by David Bellos Penguin 2014As I have not read the original French text I cannot say whether it is poorly translated or difficult to translate However I found the novel dull and depressing and in some places either lacking in meaning or lacking in context Maybe Anselme meant it to be read like this but it's not easy going Some good poignant political points about the war in Algeria Colonialism and the psychological effects of war however Before I Wake original French text I cannot say whether it is poorly translated Conceptos De Relatividad Y Teoria Cuantica or difficult to translate However I found the novel dull and depressing and in some places either lacking in meaning Vanished Kingdoms or lacking in context Maybe Anselme meant it to be read like this but it's not easy going Some good poignant political points about the war in Algeria Colonialism and the psychological effects My Brothers Love of war however

CHARACTERS On Leave

On Leave

Andful of reviews it was never reprinted it disappeared from view With no outcome to the war in sight its power to disturb was too much to bear Through David Bellos's translation this lost classic has been rediscovered Spare forceful and moving it describes a week in the lives of a sergeant a corporal and an infantryman each home on leave in Paris What these soldier No matter how well written they are I have trouble reading the stories in The Yellow Birds and Redeployment The wars in Ira and Afghanistan are too painful too recent; the savage ruin of human life so pointless I'm wondering if that's how the French felt when La Permission appeared in 1957 in the midst of France's vicious war for Algeria According to translator David Bellos the novel had few readers and only a handful of reviews It was never reprintedAnselme's short novel takes a long time to get anywhere but it gathers force in the last 50 pages and ends with a powerful almost cinematically despairing scene of soldiers being returned to the front The three young men on leave are men the civilized world prefers to ignore Anselme's bitterness is palpableParis likes its soldiers only when they're parading tamely on the other side of white crowd control barriers But it looks down at them and doesn't want to see them when they're close up In no other city are people so full of crude nationalist bluster and yet so easily ruffled so refined so tasteful and so selfish Paris being elegant is ashamed of its badly dressed soldiers yet it constantly consumes whole cohorts of them painting itself with their blood morning noon and night like a tart using lipstick That's what was going through Lachaume's mind as he crossed Pont de la ConcordeThis polemic doesn't align itself with a political position Anselme is simply enraged by the waste When Science Fails of reviews it was never reprinted it disappeared from view With no It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy outcome to the war in sight its power to disturb was too much to bear Through David Bellos's translation this lost classic has been rediscovered Spare forceful and moving it describes a week in the lives EUSKARA ADIBIDEZ 4 LEHEN HEZKUNTZA IKASLIBURUA JAKINTZAREN BIDEAK ARINDU BIZKARRA of a sergeant a corporal and an infantryman each home Studying the Novel on leave in Paris What these soldier No matter how well written they are I have trouble reading the stories in The Yellow Birds and Redeployment The wars in Ira and Afghanistan are too painful too recent; the savage ruin Quiéreme menos pero quiéreme bien (Volumen independiente) of human life so pointless I'm wondering if that's how the French felt when La Permission appeared in 1957 in the midst Theories of International Politics and Zombies of France's vicious war for Algeria According to translator David Bellos the novel had few readers and L'amour foudre only a handful Panjamon of reviews It was never reprintedAnselme's short novel takes a long time to get anywhere but it gathers force in the last 50 pages and ends with a powerful almost cinematically despairing scene Filip - dječak bez imena of soldiers being returned to the front The three young men Los últimos caminos de Antonio Machado: De Collioure a Sevilla (F. COLECCION) on leave are men the civilized world prefers to ignore Anselme's bitterness is palpableParis likes its soldiers Astonishing X-Men only when they're parading tamely Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration on the Red Mercury Blues other side Mil veces tú (Secretos y confesiones 1) of white crowd control barriers But it looks down at them and doesn't want to see them when they're close up In no The Great Game other city are people so full Soldados del Multiverso: Guerreros del pasado (Guerras del Multiverso nº 2) of crude nationalist bluster and yet so easily ruffled so refined so tasteful and so selfish Paris being elegant is ashamed Diccionario Akal de la Antigüedad hispana (Diccionarios) of its badly dressed soldiers yet it constantly consumes whole cohorts LPAC versión Martina: Ley 39/2015, de 1 de octubre, del Procedimiento Administrativo Común de las Administraciones Públicas. Texto Legal (Derecho - Práctica Jurídica) of them painting itself with their blood morning noon and night like a tart using lipstick That's what was going through Lachaume's mind as he crossed Pont de la ConcordeThis polemic doesn't align itself with a political position Anselme is simply enraged by the waste

READ ☆ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ✓ Daniel Anselme

S have to say can't be heard can't even be spoken; they find themselves strangers in their own city unmoored from their lives Full of sympathy and feeling informed by the many hours Daniel Anselme spent talking to conscripts in Paris On Leave is a timeless evocation of what the history books can never record the shame and the terror felt by men returning home from w Pretty good book about a war I know nothing about Well written and written very near to the time of the Algerian war