Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
René Blum and the Ballets RussesIn Search of a Lost Life$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195399332

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195399332.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 January 2019

René and Josette

René and Josette

(p.106) Chapter 6 René and Josette
René Blum and the Ballets Russes

Judith Chazin-Bennahum

Oxford University Press

Through a series of sixty-two letters dating from 1924 to 1942 from René Blum to Josette France, this chapter narrates the story of their love affair. It describes how Josette, an actress, became involved with Blum and soon was the focus of his emotional life. Their relationship grew and flourished until she became pregnant and would not, or could not, marry Blum. The chapter cites their age difference, twenty-two years, as possibly contributing to their problems, as René’s tone with and advice to Josette seem very paternalistic. Always helping her with her career and with financial support, he also wanted to be the model parent to their son. The chapter shows how Blum’s constant traveling and business worries also detracted from the attention Josette believed she needed. It recounts the many difficult-to-treat illnesses that their little boy Claude-René, or Minochou, suffered. One of the letters Blum wrote was his last will and testament; it indicated that most everything he possessed should go eventually to his son, with allowances for Josette and her mother, Madame Marsoulam, who essentially cared for the boy. His last letter, written in the camp at Compiègne just before he was transported to Auschwitz, went to Josette: it thanked her for a gift ham, and asked her to contact certain individuals who might be able to provide financial assistance for their son and maybe one day help him to see Claude-René again.

Keywords:   letters, love, Josette France, Claude-René, Minochou, Madame Marsoulam, Josette Auschwitz

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .