24 November 2016

Cimetière du Montparnasse (continued) #12: Alphonse Boudard

Three novels by Alphonse Boudard (1925–2000) – La Cerise (1963), Les Matadors (1966) and L'Hôpital (1972) – are mentioned in passing (as indeed so too is Boudard himself mentioned in passing) in Michel Ragon's fascinating Histoire de la littérature prolétarienne de langue française (1974; 1986 (repr.)). Boudard certainly has 'proletarian' credentials in that his father was unknown, his mother an absentee prostitute, and he was brought up by peasants in the middle of the forest of Orléans until he was seven, and then reclaimed by his mother who left him in the care of his grandmother in Paris (13e). His books are set in an underworld of gangsters, pimps, crooks, bent priests, and the use of slang is the order of the day.

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