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Abusing Power: Satirical Journals from the Special Collections Library

Paul Iribe, “Les Jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus” (The game has begun. No more bets), Le Témoin, February 4, 1934

Le Témoin (The Witness, 1933-35) was produced by Paul Iribe (1883-1935), a cartoonist whose striking visual style was influenced by his work as a poster artist, illustrator, and designer for Paramount Studios.  The words on the roulette table illustrate the extent of the “Stavisky Affair,” a financial scandal that broke in late 1933 and centered on a Russian Jewish immigrant who ran a false bond scheme and died under mysterious circumstances on January 7, 1934.  As Stavisky’s corrupt dealings with the political establishment emerged, anti-parliamentary protests led to riots in Paris. The Nazi and Communist party symbols bounding the table suggest that these factions are “players” controlling the “game,” while Marianne, the female embodiment of France, watches impassively – a reflection of Iribe’s nationalist frustration with the governing republican regime.

 Le Temoin

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Last modified February 23, 2010 12:13:46 AM EST