My name is Emmanuel GABOLDE. I am 65 and live in France.
I am a former EU official, now retired, and spend part of my time creating books, mainly books written by friends and relatives.
My project, today, aims at re-editing a book I created some six years ago, "Ecrits d'Exil" ("Written from exile"). This book was intended to be a personal edition circulated among family members, friends and relatives. But, by words of mouth, it went known by some historians who contacted me with a view to afford it, due to the many scoops and unknown facts it contains.
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It has to be noticed that "Ecrits d'exil" has been written by my grand-father, who has been a former State secretary for Justice between march 1943 and august 1944 of the so called "Gouvernement de Vichy", the government ruling France during the german occupation of the Country. My grand father was general attorney at Law in Paris, in charge of managing Justice in the occupied area, when Pierre Laval, the head of government located in Vichy, in the very center of the so-called "free area" of France, asked him to become minister in charge of justice.
What he relates in this book are the events he has been the protagonist of, or a direct witness, from the very beginning of World War 2 (he was then general attorney at law in Chambéry, in the Alps), up to the moment he saw Pierre Laval flying away from Barcelona to an american army's camp in former Austria, a few weeks before Pierre Laval has been sentenced to death and shot in Paris.
Some historians used this book and referred to it or to its content to produce their own book (Henry Rousso, "Un château en Allemagne"; Christine Sautermeister, "Louis-Ferdinand Céline à Sigmaringen"; Pierre Assouline, "Sigmaringen"). Some other are presently writing their own version of that part of History.
As nothing is better than the genuine product and as my personal edition is more or less depleted, I hope you will support me in my project consisting in re-editing "Ecrits d'exil" with a view to make it affordable to anyone.
Just to give an indication of its content, I show hereafter two or three paragraphs of the book, taken at random:
"My friend Jose Felix de Lequerica y Erquiza told me, many years later, in Spain, when speaking together about the past, in which circumstances he was involved, in june 1940, in the armistice.
I followed, told Don Jose, Paul Reynaud's government when in exodus and, on the 16th of June, I was in Bordeaux, when I went informed that all the ministers were, since the very morning, meeting with generals Weygand et Vuillemin and admiral Darlan ; They had to choose between two contradictory alternatives, both tragic; some ministers ..."
" Marshall's working methods were drastically opposed to those of President [Laval]. It led to many misunderstandings. The Head of State liked written memos, reports, and anything which was clearly written. He used to attentively read documents before signing them in a slow, clear and large writing. President [Laval] didn't take a glance to any paper longer than one page. Everything was to be orally dealt with. He was expressing himself in a vivid way. He was clever and quick, only a few words. Tune was more important than words. Once he had agreed on a subject, he was laying down an unreadable signature, trusting the one in charge, without any further attention to the subject..."
" Cars were proceeding very slowly, hoods touching bumpers. Head lamps were off and as soon as a driver was trying to light on the way, german voices were shouting « Licht, Licht ». Guns' noises were noticeable far away. We stopped on the top of a hill, just after Joinville's bridge. An intense glimmer lighted on Paris ; fuel tanks were presumably burning. A little bit farer, we had to hide on the road sides due to an airplane alert. Bichelonne, handicapped by his wounded leg, fell down. We had lot of difficulties to help this giant to stand up ..."
" I gave them my humble luggage and had no assets but my tiny suitcase and the clothes I was wearing. We climbed into the plane through a narrow opening, crammed together. I was the last one to climb in. I leant on a big iron sheet which had been bolted with a view to shut the opening. My face was close to Madame Laval's feet. The plane had to taxi many times before it could take off quite vertically, so that it could reach very quickly high altitude. I saw, through a small opening, the Alps, along which we were bouncing up from summit to summit . Then, we entered into clouds. Weather was tremendously cold. We were flying through cotton, ears deafened by the engines' roaring. I remembered my life since may 1940. Everything looked like an awful nightmare which was to end on the peak of a rocky summit...."
Now, the book is completed. The files are ready to be printed. I may be obliged by the editor I chose to modify the editing layout of what I already did.
I prefer not, but...
I already worked with this editor (five books published, since I retired) who, I know, is ready to publish this book. I know they will ask me to afford some fifty hardbacks. It's their way to share the editing risks. I do accept this obligation, but need some support to bear its financial burden. Reason why I would like to share my project with people who, for the sake of historical truth, consider it's important to have History being written in a balanced way, both by the winners and the vanquished.
Here is a link to a site showing more about the books I have already produced.
And hereafter is a photo of the leather-bound books I intend to send to any very generous backer (limited to 10 items, but of course, on request, I would be very happy to increase such a number).
In addition, I have foreseen to select one backer at random and to offer him this beautiful leather-bound edition of "Ecrits d'exil".
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Risks and challenges
The main risk is, if my project were to succeed, to offend the sensibilities of people who have been wounded by the historical period 1939-1945. I do apologize for that. But, is it a reason not to publish an historical book?
Another risk is not to be backed by you. But I do hope you will back me.
On the other hand, there is a 99% probability that the project will be implemented if enough people back it, reaching the 200 euro threshold. Once the funds are risen, I expect my editor will accept to edit the book as it is (with few editing lay-out improvements), as long as I 'll commit myself to purchase some 50 hardbacks (a way for them to share the economic risk with me (with you, fellow backers, in this very case)). I accept to share this burden on my side, reason why, instead of a 2000 euro target which corresponds to the cost for 50 books at some 40 euros each, I fixed the target at a low 200 euros. Of course, if the target is exceeded, I 'll appreciate any surplus which would lower my own burden. If my commitment vis a vis my editor were to be exceeded by the global amount collected, it would help me to prepare another book (if you want to know more in this respect, please, ask...).
The file is misspelling free as it has been reviewed by my sister who is quite good as a spelling supervisor and as, in the first edition, I remember having noticed none but one misspelling. Problem: I don't remember where and I know I won't find it (a needle in a haystack).
The main challenge will be to keep the foreseen deadline. Part of the challenge will be in the hands of the editor (reading and accepting the proof-book, issuing and signing an editing contract, finalizing the front-cover, printing and delivering the hardbacks). All this could be done in less than three months, once we agree on the content and the contractual conditions (number of books to purchase, precise cost).
SO, WHAT IS IMPORTANT IS FOR YOU TO BACK OUR COMMON PROJECT.
If you accept to help me, please,
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Support this project
- (30 days)