A worthy memorial to a remarkable woman and her drawn deep tragedy family history has created the French author, screenwriter and director David Foenkinos. By pure chance he gets 2004 a painting exhibition entitled “Life? Or Theater?” and is immediately captured by the images of him completely unknown German artist. “German literature. Music and fantasy. Despair and madness. Everything was there. And shone in dazzling colors.”
The painter’s Charlotte Salomon. She was born in Berlin in 1917. Her work includes only this small-format a cycle of 1325, bright images in the expressionist style.
But she is not content with the visual expression. It complements the gouaches and drawings with text, stage directions and references to music and movies that inspired them to a synaesthetic work of art. It was built between 1940-1942 d’Azur on the French, where the young woman lived an emigrant in supposed security. But Charlotte Salomon did not paint as a hobby, pastime or passion for the Mediterranean flair, but “to not be crazy.
About the young woman hangs the sword of Damocles, as only a short time previously experienced. The first sentence of the novel suggests their involvement with the death of “On a grave stone learns Charlotte read her name.” In the course, we learn that runs through the maternal side of their relationship a thread a history of severe depression that seemed to allow only death as redemption. Charlotte’s aunt went eighteen into the water, Charlotte Mother Frances plunged when their child was nine years old, out of the window, as well as Charlotte’s grandmother and her mother and brother, and also the great-aunt and her son have their unbearable living with the disease itself put an end to.
Out of shame and fear, that Charlotte had inherited predisposition, it conceals the family drama as long as possible. In order to protect the girl, it reflects its innocuous causes of death before – an accident, a flu
The political situation in Germany is the Jewish family under additional pressure.. After the Kristallnacht (November 10, 1938) is Charlotte’s father, to the seizure of power respected surgeon Dr. Albert Salomon, deported to Sachsenhausen. Although he is later released but remains a broken man. At his insistence – many Jews have fled – follows his daughter grandparents in Villefranche-sur-Mer on the French Mediterranean coast, where they have found on the property of the wealthy widow of an American general, Ottilie Moore, consumption
the absolutely ideal accommodation the sufferings of the grandmother can not mitigate. In 1940, she commits suicide in the same way as fourteen years before her daughter Franziska. Now the long-kept secret breaks inexorably to light. Charlotte hates the family she has deceived: “My whole life a lie.” The introverted, sensitive young woman now realizes the full extent of what it with its own nature – might have on, and the threat that it fears in herself, she plunges into a – to leave the deep melancholy of the perpetual fear deep crisis. Ottilie Moore worries and send Charlotte to Dr. Moridis, a charismatic neurologist. Her condition startled him, but he knows her artistic talent and advises: “You have to express paint … sorry.”
As a woman possessed grabs Charlotte what she perceives as “their only chance of survival.” What do you have in mind is, the memories of her life, her family, love lucky experiences with the arts and experiences with life and death “as a novel to paint” a “Singespiel” under the title “Life? Or Theater?” including pictures, text and music. All the time she is under psychological pressure, “time is short”, she sees herself “on the brink”. When she finally completed her project, she is emaciated, but also relieved. She carefully arranges the leaves and grabs her bundled into a suitcase. She bequeathed her entire work Ottilie Moore. Since the returned in view of the worsening political situation in America, Charlotte passes the suitcase in trust Dr. Moridis: “C’est toute ma vie” ( “This is my life”)
If the doctor were Charlotte Salomon pictures in safe hands.. While the artist soon deported and murdered on October 10, 1943 in the Auschwitz concentration camp, survived their work. Now owned by the Jewish Museum in Amsterdam, the collection goes around the world for decades. 2012 were part of “Life? Or Theater?” at the 13th Documenta in Kassel, in the spring of 2015 to see the autumn at the Museum der Moderne Salzburg at the Kunstmuseum Bochum. Caused a sensation Marc-André Dalbavie behalf opera at the Salzburg Festival (2014) and a ballet version of the Gelsenkirchen music theater in the area ( “Death and the painter”, 2015).
For his novel ” Charlotte < / strong> “David Foenkinos: “Charlotte” at”
What form is appropriate to the life and fate of such an unusual woman, who did not live there, their creative talents in peace fully unfold, to put into words? This question has David Foenkinos, whose previous novels liked by her cheerful tone with subtle humor, special attention. He eventually chooses a compelling, radical solution. Each set begins with a new line, and no longer than one line. Some lines contain only syntactic fragments. After ten to twenty lines (should they call ‘verses’?) Begins a new> stanza, “after two to four pages, a new numbered section, after five to over a dozen of them, a new chapter, a total of eight and an epilogue. Leafing through the pages quickly, you might think you have a modern epic or long poem in free form in front of him. compressed poetic language is most certainly. When reading the brief statements by the gain line break on weight, you often pauses. Change content episodes from Charlotte Salomon’s Leben, some scenic and partly summarily, with reporting by the author on his research, impressions and reflections.
The success of the book certainly exceeded all expectations. It became a bestseller in France and was awarded the 2014 Lycéens the Prix Renaudot and the Prix Goncourt. And in the summer of 2015 plaques were in Villefranche-sur-Mer, in the presence of the author reveals for Charlotte Salomon.