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Order of the Day

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COMMENT: L’Ordre du Jour (“The Order of the Day” in English) has won a top literary prize in France and will soon be published in English.  . . . . ‘L’Ordre du Jour‘ [officially a novel] is based on historical documents and photographs. It opens with a friendly meeting in 1933 between Hitler and 24 major figures in German industry and finance, including brands like Bayer and Allianz that are familiar today. ‘They are here beside us, among us,’ Mr. Vuillard writes. ‘They are our cars, our washing machines, our household goods, our radio-alarms, our homeowner’s insurance, our watch batteries. They are here, there and everywhere, as all sorts of things. Our daily life is theirs.’  Mr. Vuillard, a 49-year-old filmmaker and the author of several . . . novels, said by telephone that he had been inspired by Montesquieu’s warning that the concentration of power and money in the hands of a few was ‘dangerous for everybody.’ . . .”

Echoing Montesquieu’s sentiment, we noted on May 23rd of 1980 that what happened in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s was underway in the United States.

“Eric Vuillard Wins the Goncourt Prize” by Annalisa Quinn; The New York Times; 11/8/2017.

 France’s most prestigious literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, has been awarded to “L’Ordre du Jour,” by Eric Vuillard, a historical work about shady business dealings behind the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938.

The book, published by Actes Sud and set to be translated in the United States under the title “The Order of the Day,” was honored on Monday in a ceremony at the Paris restaurant Drouant. . . .

. . . . “L’Ordre du Jour” is based on historical documents and photographs. It opens with a friendly meeting in 1933 between Hitler and 24 major figures in German industry and finance, including brands like Bayer and Allianz that are familiar today.

 “They are here beside us, among us,” Mr. Vuillard writes. “They are our cars, our washing machines, our household goods, our radio-alarms, our homeowner’s insurance, our watch batteries. They are here, there and everywhere, as all sorts of things. Our daily life is theirs.”

 Mr. Vuillard, a 49-year-old filmmaker and the author of several . . . novels, said by telephone that he had been inspired by Montesquieu’s warning that the concentration of power and money in the hands of a few was “dangerous for everybody.”

The independent publisher Other Press plans to publish a translation in the United States next November.

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