Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To save articles in ePub format for your eBook reader…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

To save an article in ePub format, look for the ePub reader icon above all articles for logged in users, and click it to quickly save the article, which is automatically downloaded to your computer or device. (There may be times when due to font sizes and other original formatting, the page may overflow onto a second page.).

You can also easily save to PDF format, a journal like printed format.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Szaluta, J. (1990). The Correspondence between Maréchal and Madame Pétain, 1913 to 1949: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation. Am. Imago, 47(2):169-196.

(1990). American Imago, 47(2):169-196

The Correspondence between Maréchal and Madame Pétain, 1913 to 1949: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation

Jacques Szaluta, Ph.D.

In 1981, thirty years after the death of Marshal Philippe Pétain, Maître Jacques Isorni, Pétain's defense attorney in 1945, deposited the correspondence between Pétain and his wife into the National Archives to be microfilmed. This correspondence had been entrusted to Maître Isorni by Madame Pétain. To date, less than a handful of researchers have consulted this invaluable source, and there is no analysis of it in English. Permission to consult the correspondence rests with the consent of Maître Isorni. This correspondence is quite extensive, and it consists of nearly five hundred letters, including a few telegrams and postcards.

The correspondence begins in 1913, well before Pétain married Alphonsine-Berthe-Eugénie Hardon in 1920, and spans the years from 1913 to 1940 and from 1945 to 1949, the latter period being the years of Pétain's imprisonment. Although the available documentation on Pétain is enormous, this particular correspondence is invaluable because it is a unique source for understanding Pétain's inner life.1 There is a paucity of information on Pétain's private life, because unlike his famous contemporaries, he purposely left no autobiography or memoir. He once explained—or rationalized—to a friend that he had no need to write memoirs for he had “nothing to hide” (Carcopino 1953, 153). These letters, which are now available, add a distinctive dimension to the study of Pétain.2 When examined from a psychoanalytic perspective, the letters shed further light on the most fateful and controversial decision he made, the decision to take power in 1940.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.