The Book Cellar
French author Éric Vuillard will be at the Book Cellar on November 3rd at 6pm to discuss his new book, Order of the Day, presented in partnership with the Book Office of the French Embassy in the US and the Cultural Service at the Consulate General of France in Chicago. He will be in translation and conversation with Associate Professor of French at Loyola University, Dr. David Posner!
About Order of the Day:
February 20, 1933, an unremarkable day during a harsh Berlin winter: A meeting of twenty-four German captains of industry and senior Nazi officials is being held in secret in the plush lounge of the Reichstag. They are there to extract funds for the accession to power of the National Socialist Party and its Chancellor. This opening scene sets a tone of consent that will lead to the worst possible repercussions.
March 12, 1938, the annexation of Austria is on the agenda: A grotesque day intended to make history--the newsreels capture a motorized army on the move, a terrible, inexorable power. But behind Goebbels's splendid propaganda, an ersatz Blitzkrieg unfolds, the Panzers breaking down en masse on the roads into Austria. The true behind-the-scenes account of the Anschluss--a patchwork of minor flourishes of strength and fine words, fevered telephone calls, and vulgar threats--all reveal a starkly different picture. It is not strength of character or the determination of a people that wins the day, but rather a combination of intimidation and bluff.
With this vivid, compelling history, Éric Vuillard warns against the peril of willfully blind acquiescence, and offers a reminder that, ultimately, the worst is not inescapable.
About the Author:
Éric Vuillard is a writer and filmmaker born in Lyon in 1968 who has written nine award-winning books, including Conquistadors (winner of the 2010 Prix Ignatius J. Reilly), and La bataille d'Occident and Congo (both of which received the 2012 Prix Franz-Hessel and the 2013 Prix Valery-Larbaud). He won the 2017 Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize, for L'Ordre du Jour. His most recent book, Sorrow of the Earth, was his first published in English; The Order of the Day is his second. He lives in Rennes, France.
About the Translator:
Mark Polizzotti is the translator of more than thirty books from French, including works by Gustave Flaubert, Marguerite Duras, Raymond Roussel, and André Breton. His articles and reviews have appeared in The Nation, New Republic, ARTnews, Parnassus, Partisan Review, and elsewhere. He currently directs the publications program at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.