21 September 2017

Paris 2017: Cimetière parisien de Bagneux, Hauts-de-Seine (92) #1: J.-H. Rosny aîné

J.-H. Rosny aîné was the pseudonym of Joseph Henri Honoré Boex (1856–1940), a French author of Belgian origin who is considered one of the founding figures of modern science fiction. Born in Brussels, Rosny spent most of his years in France. Rosny was an influence on Arthur Conan Doyle, the plot of his Force mystérieuse (1913) being adopted by Doyle for his The Poisoned Belt. Les Navigateurs de l'infini (1925) is generally considered as Rosny's best work, and his use of the word 'astronautique' is a first. However, I suspect that, in spite of a prize existing in his name, Rosny will be most remembered for his disagreements with Lucien Descaves, particularly for the, er, scandalous winning of the Goncourt in 1932 by Guy Mazeline's Les Loups, rather than Céline's Voyage au bout de la nuit, which received the 'compensatory' Renaudot.

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