First World War, Prisoners, Franco-German relations, Regret


This article examines Jacques Rivière’s post-war work L’Allemand: Souvenirs et réflexions d'un prisonnier de guerre (1918) ‘On German nature: memories and reflections of a prisoner-of-war,’ as a response to the conflicting nexus of Catholicism and French nationalism in the aftermath of the First World War. A damning account of the German race, L’Allemand exposes Rivière’s tussle with his wartime and post-war identities, most strikingly exhibited in his moral distancing from the text he was to eventually publish. In resuscitating Riviere’s now forgotten text, this article engages with the post-war reception of a work whose peculiar context bears witness to the liminal status of those detained in First World War prison camps caught between trench and captor nation, enmity and empathy.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.