That he did fight for the Commune and against the Versaillais
is undoubted, but his fame rests much more on the twist of fate that made him the last living protagonist of that chaotic and generous attempt at social revolution.
Communards were motivated by a determination to make economic and political change; the desire for local autonomy and the creation of a federal system across France; the resentment felt by ordinary Parisians toward the government for the recent military defeat to Prussia and her German allies; and, as the fighting between city and nation intensified, the desire of neighbors and coworkers to defend neighborhoods against the Versaillais
(the national army attempting to retake the capital).
5) Un conservateur versaillais
, puis antidreyfusard, fier d'etre l'ami du comte de Paris, qui exaltera neanmoins la revolte des Indiens contre les colonisateurs britanniques.
Or were they the Versaillais
as the recent bloodshed might quickly have brought to mind?
He was particularly drawn to the Mur des Federes, the plot devoted to the memory of the last defenders of the 1871 Paris Commune who had been gunned down in their thousands on that very site by the Versaillais
surrounded the capital and starved the Communards to death, eventually gunning down those who survived.
By the end of the Commune on May 28, 1871, when a Versaillais
firing squad shot remaining National Guard troops against a wall at the Pere Lachaise cemetery, somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 Parisians had been killed.
As the workers were being murdered, executed in batches in the streets by the troops of the Versaillais
, Eugene Pottier, an elected member of the Commune, member of the Federation of Artists and the International Workingmen's Association, penned the words to what would become a working-class cry of defiance, the most dangerous song in the world: "L'Internationale" (The International).
Cela explique d'ailleurs le choix textuel et strategique d'ouvrir sa lettre avec un "Chant de Guerre Parisien" qui prend parti pour la Commune implicitement et ironiquement par le biais d'une cinglante representation satirique des hommes du gouvernement versaillais
Or were they the Versaillais
, as the recent bloodshed might quickly have brought to mind?
Unfortunately, Andre Leo had little time to put her theories into action since the Versaillais
entered Paris the very same day that the Commission feminine de l'Enseignement was established.
Quand l'Hercule populaire soul,re la dalle de marbre rose sous laquelle ses maitres cherchent a le dissimuler, quand la classe ouvriere fait au milieu des ruines du bordel imperial sa formidable entree dans l'histoire, les nuees qui couvraient la realite sociale se dissipent, et le heros cesse d'etre Rolla, Charlemagne ou le Cid Campeador, il devient l'ouvrier de Belleville, la menagere de la Jatte qui tire le canon sur les Versaillais
, et avec la Commune triomphe dans la litterature francaise la tendance au realisme qui des l'Empire avait suscite Manet et Courbet, Zola et Valle (9).