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Undesirable Pen Pals, Unthinkable Houseguests

Representations of Franco-German Friendships in a Post-Liberation Trial Dossier and Suite Française

Sandra Ott

This article explores representations of Franco-German friendship through two complementary lenses: through the post-liberation trial dossier of a female collaborationist in southwestern France, and through Dolce, the second part of Irène Némirovsky's compelling novel, Suite Française. The primary aim is to illuminate and contrast the roles that historical and fictional narratives play in our interpretations and understanding of Franco-German relations in occupied France. The article also assesses the ethnographic value of the novelist's notes that accompanied the unfinished manuscript of Suite Française. Located at the intersections of history, ethnography, and literature, the article examines the ways in which the methods of the historian and the ethnographer, on the one hand, and the novelist, on the other, overlap and differ.