Parenthèse – Pierre Paroz

Winter 1915. German and Allied soldiers faced each other in the mud of the trenches under the threat of enemy machine guns, and this had been going on for months. Then Christmas came. A day of barbarism like any other, when all of a sudden a poor little Christmas tree sprung from a trench, waved by a soldier. Spontaneously, the belligerents there threw down their weapons and ran onto no man’s land to greet each other and spend Christmas Eve together. In the early morning, a senior officer passing by screamed treason: all the men returned to their positions. The incident is closed – but is it for real? This is the power of Christmas: it opens a PARENTHESIS in the bleak or merciless everyday life. A PARENTHESIS of fraternity, never sweet, on the contrary – subversive: when God immerses himself in the human adventure, it disturbs the order of things. This is also the goal of this collection of tales, composed over the years on the occasion of Christmas. No one will remain indifferent to these stories built on historical or social realities of yesterday and today, nor in the way in which they portray the human being in his inevitable debate with existence – and with Him, who reveals himself in disguise.

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