Pierre and Luce is a love story set in Paris in spring time. But it is 1918 and although the battle lines are far away, war is pervasive, ever present. In Romain Rolland's novella, Pierre and Luce navigate first love with aching tenderness and awful urgency. Already a Nobel prize winner at the time he wrote Pierre and Luce, Romain Rolland masterfully juxtaposes need and doom with love and hope. In so doing he reveals the universal truths of war––it is evil and behaves without reason.
Onesuch Press has included an afterword to provide the unfamiliar reader with some of the context that was common to Romain Rolland's original audience. It describes what was then cutting edge technology employed to terrible purpose seemingly decades ahead of its time. It also includes excerpts from the then American ambassador's account of the awful event described in the final pages of Pierre and Luce.
"She did not pull her hand away. At the pressure of his fingers hers replied in a sympathy of emotion, drawing together a bit, and then letting themselves go, soft and burning, without budging. Thus the two remained in the protective darkness, their hands like two birds hid in the same nest; and the blood from their hearts ran in a single flood through the warmth of their palms. They said no word to one another. His mouth almost touched the curl on her cheek and the tip of her ear. They did not make a gesture. She did not look at him. Two stations beyond, she loosed her hand from his, which did not keep her, slipped between the bodies and left without having looked at him." Pierre & Luce