Title Album of Nine Original Pen-and-Ink Cartoons Depicting Life at a Vichy France Prison Camp for Political Prisoners
Book Condition Very Good
Publisher Sisteron, France
Seller ID 005390
Early 1940s. 8vo. 22 by 17 cm. Sisteron was used for political prisoners -- communists, anarchists, other undesirables -- as well as common criminals, during the German occupation. It would be liberated by American forces in August, 1944. The artist, whose signature we can not make out with certainty (Cascal, Gascal?), had a sure mastery of his art -- the lines are drawn with great precision, without the result coming off the least bit fussy. He easily conveys the absurdities of prison life, and the insanities of his masters, as well as his fellow prisoners, for whom the circumstances of their incarceration could drive to insanity. In these nine illustrations he somehow seems to capture the breadth and wackiness of his experience. Each of the illustrations is captioned in French, which we translate as "Arrival", "The clandestine fire", "The guard's review" (of the prisoners), "The forced carrying of wood", "The aftermath of squash and leek" (soup?); "Soup", "Distribution of parcels", "The game of boule", "Forced labor relating to squash". The illustrations are all signed, but we are not sure of the spelling. The notebook itself is a generic "Dessin" booklet. Light wear.