The Ineffable



4. Rigaudon

Rigaudon is one of the more festive dances in the suite. Hence, I chose to contrast the gloomy reality of trench warfare with the brighter opulence of the palaces of the ruling class. The films are from the 1919 Paris Conference when the Treaty of Versailles was signed. One of the clauses of the Treaty declared that a League of Nations—the world's first intergovernmental organization—was to be founded with the mission of maintaining world peace. This institution could not defend its purpose for very long; after WWII the United Nations was formed as its replacement.

The quote used here is from Ernest Hemingway's preface to his book Men at War. He talks about his experience in the Great war and discusses the sort of censorship suffered by writers of the time. Hemingway’s words that follow those displayed in the film are quite crude:

"The last war, during the years 1915, 1916, 1917, was the most colossal, murderous, mismanaged butchery that has ever taken place on earth. Any writer who said otherwise lied. So the writers either wrote propaganda, shut up, or fought. Of those who fought many died and we shall never know who were the fine writers who would have come out of the war who died in it instead."