Claude Simon own escape from certain death when, as a cavalryman defending French borders—at the outbreak of the Second World War—he was forced to participate in an attack launched, into Belgium, against German tanks. Miraculously surviving the slaughter, the future novelist later found himself in the company of three other survivors: two officers and one fellow cavalryman. Simon rich and varied work has several other dimensions to it, but, to simplify matters, if James Joyce is forever associated with the fictional Bloomsday, then Claude Simon should eternally be celebrated for his uncompromising endeavor to recollect the all-too-real tragi-comical days of May, 1940. He defines this spectacle of horsemen pitted against tanks as "more absurd than any novelist could invent", and much of his literary labor has been devoted to examining the grave political, epistemological and aesthetic implications of that key epithet.