« Pas pleurer » set in Spain after the beginning of the Civil War and focuses on two characters with contrasting political views: a conservative Catholic writer Georges Bernanos and Ms. Salvayre’s mother, who recounts her memories.
We are in summer 1936 in a small Spanish village after the beginning of the Civil War. The novel focuses on two family with contrasting political views: A landowner Don J’aime B and his family and on the other side the farm workers: Montse and his brother José.
This July 1936, life is full of wild ideas and hope for a better future. José takes his sister Montse in Barcelona where she discover the freedom to live in a big town. She has there a brief but life-changing affair with a Frenchman fighting for the Republican cause. Pregnant she has no other choice than return to his village where she has to marry Diego a Stalinist belonging to Don J’aime B family, and the deadly rival of Montse’s anarchist brother José.
At the same time, G. Bernanos a conservative Catholic writer live in Majorca. Initially a supporter of General Franco, Bernanos, is disillusioned by the killing of innocent people carried by the Fascist and write his excellent text: Les Grands Cimetières sous la lune.
This novel mixes personal histories and extracts from Bernanos writing and is partly written in what Ms. Salvayre calls frañol, a combination of French and Spanish language. Through the prism of these personal rivalries, Salvayre deftly paints a picture of the Civil War and illuminate the picturesque life of a young Spanish girl again. Compellingly and movingly « Jubilatoire ».
« Pas pleurer » won the Goncourt Price 2014.