He had been rewarded by the prix Goncourt for his previous novel, The order of the day , published in April 2017. Focusing on several key moments of the early days of the Third Reich, Eric Vuillard was interested in the rise of nazism and the catastrophe which it foreshadowed. With The War of the poor (Editions Actes Sud), Lyon continues its “demystification of history” by immersing themselves in an insurgency in the south of Germany in the Sixteenth century: the war of the Peasants, germans, led by the theologian Thomas Müntzer.
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The date of the release of this historical narrative of sixty pages, which is scheduled for spring, has been advanced to January, because the work echoes the movement of the “yellow vests,” said Gregory Leménager. For the columnist of Obs , The War of the poor is “a great little book, great by talent and small in size”, which enables us to understand “why the peasants revolted and allow themselves to embark on a form of violence that ends in a stalemate”.
“Vuillard tries to hang up all the popular revolts anti-bourgeois and anti-aristocratic on an even line”
Jean-Christophe Buisson denounces, him, a form of”opportunism” of the novelist. According to the journalist of the Figaro Magazine , the date of publication of the book has been advanced to coincide with “the air of the time”. Furthermore, he accuses the writer of having twisted the history of how “indecent”, using “shortcuts” approximations and “lies”. “Vuillard tries to hang up all the popular revolts anti-bourgeois and anti-aristocratic in a line”, that of the”ideology of pre-communist”, he explains.
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If Jean-Christophe Buisson denounces a certain “manichaeism”, Gregory Leménager defends the bias of the novelist: The War of the poor is not a “book historian, but a writer, who has his or her subjectivity,” retorted he. Despite this point of disagreement, the two columnists to explain to have been seduced by the writing “to the rough and ready way” and the “stylistic virtuosity” of Éric Vuillard. A novel in the style “very incisive”, with “a sense of detail and density is considerable,” says the reporter from Obs .