Interesting Tidbit about Senlis (well, sort of)

When I was reading Lawrence’s accounts of her time in Senlis in Chapter 2, I noticed that the name “Senlis” felt somehow familiar to me. I couldn’t remember where I heard it. Suddenly, I remembered that it was mentioned in a documentary about the crash of Turkish Airlines Flight 981 in 1974 (I watch a lot of documentaries about airplane crashes when I’m bored). The flight crashed in the forests of Ermenonville just a few minutes after takeoff from Paris-Orly Airport, which is just south of Senlis. Relatives and friends were brought to a church in Senlis to identify their loved one’s belongings. A British journalist who was at the church stated that “one of the saddest sights [he’d] ever seen was in [that] church.”

Even though this wasn’t a wartime event and took place well after the Great War, it made me think about how we’ve talked about how physical destruction connects with emotional upheaval this semester. Lawrence mentions “ravaging” and “ruin” in the chapter, and how the people who live there will never be the same again. Those experiences are etched in their memories forever, just like the memories of the church will always stick with the journalist. It’s mind blowing to me how one place experienced that amount of devastation in that period of time.

For anyone who’s interested in the documentary, it’s called “Behind Closed Doors.” It was recently taken down on YouTube due to copyright (no surprise there), but I think it’s been uploaded in its entirety on FaceBook.

1 thought on “Interesting Tidbit about Senlis (well, sort of)

  1. Hey Laura, I think you brought up some really interesting points in your post. To add onto you comment about how physical destruction tends to connect with emotional upheaval, I think it’s also important to recognize how time can impact that relationship. While in a way, time can certainly help heal wounds and emotional trauma- it can almost never make it go completely away. And then when you take into consideration all the issues and horrific events that have occured throughout history, there is often a way for ones thought process to make them move from considering one issue to another (similar to how you drew relation from the text to the documentary you saw). As more time passes, and more horrors occur, the more there seems to be a cycle of trauma and sadness that exists.

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