A red and black autumn | When war lurks

Marc Ménard brings back his character of Stan, protagonist ofA red and black autumnwith this new novel that is quite short, but very effective.

It was gloomy and rather hopeless, Stanislas’ life in the previous novel. We find him some time later, in the winter of 1937, wandering the gray and wet streets of a snowless Montreal. The political atmosphere is still divided and tense. On the one hand, the communists and their sympathizers, including young Stan even if he refuses to affiliate with a political party, who hope in particular to improve the conditions of workers in the dress industry – of which Thérèse is a member, his sister, with whom he lives – thanks to the advent of a union. On the other, the rise of fascists – in Spain, but also in Quebec, with the rise of Adrien Arcand’s National Social Christian Party.

Rejected by his beautiful Alice, but having found a job in a printing shop, Stan seeks his place in a changing society, where the values ​​of yesterday clash with other, more modern ones, like those that Hélène introduces him to. , a libertine painter. Wanting to change things in his own way, he will be caught in his own game by wanting to expose the shenanigans of anti-Semitic conspirators.

Ménard has a certain talent for immersing us in this era which, although it seems distant, echoes in a rather disturbing way to ours – racism, disinformation, exploitation –, and skillfully knows how to move from the political to the intimate in this story darkness crossed by a growing feeling of anxiety. Skillful and well led, Para bellum is a successful sequel, which even surpasses the first.

Para bellum

Para bellum

Head First

184 pages


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