Mobilization and the Call to History

Glenn Watkins

in Proof through the Night

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927896 | DOI:
Mobilization and the Call to History

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“Le chant du départ,” born during the French Revolution, was first performed in public on July 4, 1794. Jules Michelet, one of the first and most important of French nationalist historians, wrote proudly and effusively of its effect upon the citizenry, and a collection of France's most important patriotic songs compiled during the Great War, Marches et chansons des soldats de France, correctly ranked “Le chant du départ” next to “La Marseillaise” in impact and importance. Singing “Le chant du départ,” Parisians would inevitably have recalled another familiar and potent bit of imagery: the sculpture by François Rude that adorns the Champs-Elysées face of the Arc de Triomphe. Called “Le départ,” it shows a group of idealized figures moving to defend a threatened France. This chapter focuses on mobilization of French troops during the Great War, along with Claude Debussy's work for two pianos titled En blanc et noir, and Neoclassicism and national identity.

Keywords: Great War; Le chant du départ; France; patriotic songs; Arc de Triomphe; mobilization; Claude Debussy; Neoclassicism; national identity

Chapter.  7416 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: American Music

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