10 November 2013

Henry Poulaille: Cimetière de Cachan #1

The rather idyllic setting of the cemetery at Cachan with the grave of the prominent working-class writer Henry Poulaille in the foreground and the towering aqueduct in the background.

Poulaille was the son of an anarchist carpenter, and an anarchist himself: France has known many working-class anarchist novelists, although the only two British ones I know of (apart from more recent ones such as James Kelman and Niall Griffiths) are Lewis Grassic Gibbon and the considerably more obscure Lionel Britton.

Not many people seem to have visited Poulaille's grave, and it is in a rather forlorn state.

I had to hold back the ivy to read the inscription:
1896 – 1980
Poulaille's most well known novel is Pain de soldat: 1914–1917 (1937), a partly autobiographical account of his experiences of war.

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