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September 30, 1983 - Image 31

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-09-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Detroiter Authored 'Return o Martin Guerre'

In addition, it is also a grip-
ping tale of an impostor that
succeeds in assuming the
role of husband, father and
property owner, and in re-
calling all minute details of
relatives and neighbors
since childhood.
A significant factor
that lends credence is the
author's accurate histor-
ical setting, complicated
by profound ethical, re-
ligious and psychological
issues of the time. Prof.
Davis wrote "Society and
Culture in Early Modern
France" and was knigh-
ted in 1976 by France as a
world authority on the
French Reformation.
Briefly, the Martin
Guerre story is a true
episode that occurred in
southern France about
1550. The sequence of
events fired the imagina-
tion of many observers and
writers including the par-
ticipating judge, Coras, who
recorded it in a book by the
name "Arrest Memorable."
The unique feature of the
story is that the wife, who
married at age 11 and was
deserted for eight years by
her husband after the, birth
of a child, persisted in pub-
licly stating that the new
Martin was truly her hus-
band. The only ripple in this

By DR. MILTON
STEINHARDT

There are several valid
reasons why Natalie Zemon
Davis' "The Return of Mar-
tin Guerre" (Harvard Uni-
versity Press) claims our at-
tention. She is a native De-
troiter. -
after
Davis,
Prof.
graduating from Kings-
wood, earned her BA at
Smith :`summa cum laude"
and her PhD from the Uni-
versity of Michigan in 1975
with a special award. At
present she is Henry
Charles Lee Professor of
History of Princeton.
She was the consultant to
the current film, "Return of
Martin Guerre," which has
won the acclaim of local and
national reviewers and the
enthusiasm of the audience.

2 %7r\

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Friday, September 30, 1983 31

Israel Buying
Norwegian Oil

security number and no
TEL AVIV (JTA) — Is-
school or club associates.
rael has signed a contract
Another point of special with Norway to buy 500,000
interest has to do with the tons of oil from its North Sea
ethical and moral codes of oilfields over the next year.
the French judicial system
Norway, under heavy
relating to bigamy, legiti- Arab pressure not to con-
macy of the new offspring,
clude the deal, stressed
property inheritance, the there was no political moti-
guilt of the deserting hus- vation or implication in the
band, etc.
deal.
The execution sur-
Custom laminated Furniture.
Israel buys about 40 per-
prised many who had
Residential & Commercial
cent
of
its
oil
from
Mexico,
admired the man's im-
Graphic Wall Design
agination, memory, for- 25 percent from Egypt and
the
rest
on
the
open
spot
titude and guile. With
KEITH SCHARE
such qualities he could market. The Norwegian
Designer
have attained success in deal will be part of the spot
569-2462 543-0203
market purchases.
any field of endeavor.
im....memonmffemL
■ k
It is of more than passing
interest that Judge Coras
was later executed for his
liberal leanings toward Pro-
testantism. Perhaps he was
influenced by the strictures
of Catholic doctrine in fam-
28585 TELEGRAPH RD.
(313) 353-1300
Southfield
Across Froth Tel-12
ily matters of divorce and
desertion.
ALL MAKES & MODELS — DOMESTIC OR FOREIGN
The author's performance
Sam Scotella
is remarkable in two re-
spects. The book is as excit-
ing as any historical novel,
and at the same time an au-
thentic record of the social
milieu of 16th Century
rural France. It is as reada-
9 & Coolidge,
ble as a mystery and as ac-
Oak
Park
Shopping Plaza
curate as any historical
document.
That double function is
not easily attained, and
that, no doubt, accounts for
the enthusiastic public re-
Special rates for senior citizens
ception of both the book and
the film.
545-9387

DESIGN-IT

PROFESSOR DAVIS

perfect "make believe" oc-
curred when the new Mar-
tin claimed an accounting
from his Uncle Pierre as to
the true value of his estate.
It was then that a passing
soldier reported that he
"knew the real Martin, who
had lost a leg during the
war. It then became proba-
ble that while soldiering,
the new Martin learned all
about the pretty wife and
the inheritance. This must
have caused the inventive
and talented companion to
commit to memory all the
minute details of Martin's
intimate life and family,
thus succeeding the pose as
the real Martin.
After the -. first trial
which was initiated by
the property dispute with
Uncle Pierre the new
Martin was declared
bona fide husband and
father. He was about to
obtain esimilar favora-
ble verdict during the
second trial when the
true Martin hobbled in on
his wooden leg. The glib
defendant let the truth
out by a slip of the ton-
gue.

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The court was sympathe-
tic to the wife Bertrande
who undoubtedly knew the
truth but was so eager to
end her miserable existence
that she could not disown
the new congenial man who
claimed her as his wife. The
sentence on the impostor
was harsh: Repentance and
death. His court perfor-
mance was so admirable
that the customary "tor-
ture" was not imposed.
Identity in the 16th Cen-
tury in rural France obvi-
ously was not as simple as it
is today. In the primitive
village there were no finger
prints, no signatures, no
photographs, no dental re-
cords, no mirrors (except for
the well-to-do), no social

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44,

JERUSALEM (JTA) —
Leon Dulzin, chairman of
the Jewish Agency and
World Zionist Organization
Executives, has pledged the
WZO's support for the es-
tablishment of an educa-
tional institution for dias-
pora youth at the settle-
ment of Brakha, near Nab-
lus.
Brakha, dubbed "upper
Nablus" by its detractors, is
one of the most controver-
sial of the new West Bank
settlements.

CONGREGATION SHAAREY ZEDS( INVITES SINGLES

TO AN ONEG SHABBAT

Featuring:

RABBI WILLIAM RUDOLPH

NATIONAL PERSONNEL DIRECTOR
B'NAI B'RITH HILLEL—WASHINGTON, D.C.

Speaking On:

"You Can't Live With 'Em—
You Can't Live Without 'Em
Jewish Singles and Their Stereotypes"

REFRESHMENTS TO FOLLOW:

October 7, 1983 — 8:00 P.M.
For Singles 22-55

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27375 BELL ROAD — SOUTHFIELD, MICHIGAN 48034

CO-SPONSORED BY THE JEWISH FAMILY LIFE PROJECT AND THE COMMUNITY NET-
WORK FOR JEWISH SINGLES.

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