people have fled the countryside. They have come by the thousands into the city. What it is they are fleeing they cannot say. They fear “the enemy”—an enemy whom they are certain will one day attack. One man sits beyond the gates watching. But when the true enemy attacks, he comes not from the outside, but from within.
From the beginning, Marcel Clouzot weaves this fascinating contemporary fable that may be interpreted as a political statement or a philosophical summation of the future of the West.
The Walled City is an allegory about the malaise infecting today’s world. In it Clouzot has created a Western Society which is about to lose its souls in its battle with technology. It would prefer to lay the blame on external enemies, but the sickness is within—inside the walls. All the symptoms are there: the all-powerful state, Law & Order, the swollen Factory, the controlled Press, inflation and bad money, the ailing Church, the arrogance of Science, the ravages of Pollution, the deadening impact of the egalitarian society, even Feminism—and the man of good will, its protagonist, who is trapped between the Law and his own conscience. When The Walled City was published in France it was called ‘a great hallucinatory book’ and Clouzot was compared to Celine.