“The Song at the Scaffold” by Gertrude von le Forte’s is one of the finest novellas ever written! Vivian Dudro, writer and editor at Ignatius Press engages in a wonderful conversation about the work of German author Gertrude von le Forte who was a writer of novels, poems, and essays. A convert to Catholicism in 1926, most of von le Forte’s work came after her conversion. In 1952 she won the Gottfried-Keller Prize, an esteemed Swiss literary award.
Set during the French Revolution, this classic novella is based on the true story of the Carmelite nuns of Compiègne, who offered their lives for the preservation of the Church in France. The Song at the Scaffold was the original inspiration for the opera Dialogues of the Carmelites written by Francis Poulenc, which premiered in 1957. The opera was based on a libretto with this same title written by Georges Bernanos.
As Vivian points out in our discussion, von le Forte’s work is as relevant today as it was in the last century. In the course of our conversation, we discuss the influence of the Carmelite tradition and it’s influence on Edith Stein (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) and Bl. John Paul II, as well the role of redemptive suffering in the life of the Christian.
A novella in it’s truest sense, this book contains as much meaning as any tome made up 10x the pages. A NOT TO BE MISSED READ.
You can find it at Ignatius.com
One of the great Christian classics of all time. —Michael O’Brien, Author, Father Elijah
A poignant reminder that, for the Christian, fearlessness lies on the far side of Gethsemane and the Cross. —George Weigel, Author, Witness to Hope