31 October 2013

Pierre Drieu la Rochelle: Le Cimetière ancien de Neuilly-sur-Seine #3

Inevitably, the 'Pléiadisation' of Pierre Drieu la Rochelle (1893–1945) last year (2012) brought shocked objections. How could it not? A fascist's writings allowed into the esteemed Pléiade? Fascist Drieu certainly was (specifically from 1934), although he saved his friend Jean Paulhan from the Gestapo, and also saved such writers as Sartre. Drieu's life in any case can't be reduced to simplistic condemnations: he was riddled with contradictions. What would have become of him if he'd gone into hiding after the liberation of Paris (as for instance André Malraux suggested) and not killed himself?

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