Film/Public Viewing, Literatur/Performance

Literature & Film: A barbaric ‘wedding’ (Yann Queffélec)

Irmi Horn (c) Anaïs Horn

A barbaric ‘wedding’ happens to Nicole, the 14-year-old baker’s daughter, who unsuspectingly accepts the invitation of her dapper, always obliging Will without her parents’ knowledge. So she sneaks away in the blissful feeling of being in love. So she fell into the hands of the drunken and now no longer obliging Will and his cronies. The consequences of this barbarity are – strictly speaking – consistent: Nicole becomes pregnant. The child, abandoned in the attic, is given its daily meal, but is not given any warmth until it is sent to a home for the deprived. Ludo – named after a passing cutter – is fifteen when he escapes on Christmas night. Once again, mother and son meet, and a mutual recognition takes place.

The author has countered the brutality breaking into the provincial idyll from the outside world, which destroys the lives of mother and son, with his means of telling of helplessness, of this being cast out and left alone, and of fighting again and again against the depravity of people.

This novel by Yann Queffélec, which was awarded France’s most famous literary prize, the “Prix Goncourt”, was made into a film by Marion Hänsel in 1987.


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