Thanksgiving Is Ruined
July 07, 2012
we (continue to) live at the p.o.
Journalist Michel-Antoine Burnier once wrote about how a particular European intellectual scene stood, circa at least until around autumn 1939:
One understands then why [these three characters] did not feel concerned about History. They had to justify their existence. To do so, it was enough for them "to write, we would make beautiful books." [quoting preface to this work] The struggle of the proletariat was a fine thing for the proletariat, but this was not the intellectual's business. Sartre liked to say, in those days, that to sign up for membership in the Communist Party was the only road of salvation for the proletariat, but that for the writer other paths were available. To each his own.
Colette Audry opposed this view. Steeped in Marx and Trotsky . . . she considered herself a militant engaged in a struggle. She could not find herself faced with any situation without taking a side. "You see the world as if it were a a post office," she told Sartre. He responded pointedly, "The world IS a post office."
The above is taken from the introduction to Burnier's first book . . .
(begun essentially as his Sciences-Po master's thesis, then published in 1966 as part of this obsession-worthy series, then a few years later as a mass market paperback in the USA). . . , otherwise generally a richly informative but somewhat inside baseball-ey walkthrough of the ever-evolving line(s) of the TM.
Not very much more about the intriguing Aubry in the above book, unfortunately. A couple of her 1990 obits are here and here.
Burnier, however, adds to the above (roughly):
Is it not conceivable however that, among the [post office] employees, some have a privileged job that consists of stamp collecting, while others do the actual work of handling the mail?