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Jean de la hire : biographie intellectuelle et politique (1878-1956)

Abstract : Mostly known under the pseudonym Jean de La Hire, the French writer, editor and politician Adolphe d’Espie (1878-1956) might not be on many people’s minds nowadays. Yet, his works were very popular in his time, delighting a vast audience including young Jean-Paul Sartre, who names him as one of his favorite authors. And his baffling itinerary raises many questions. Beginning his literary career as a very elitist novelist, young d’Espie befriends figures such as Pierre Louÿs, José-Maria de Heredia, Colette and Willy, and dreams to become the new Balzac. He still ended up owing his fame to popular literature. His prolific production in the field covers many genre: romance novel, crime novel, adventure novels, and even science fiction. The paths he followed in politics puzzle as well. A long standing supporter of the “radical” movement, and elected mayor under this label, d’Espie became editor in chief of a political review sponsored by future Nobel Peace Prize-winning Léon Bourgeois and Ferdinand Buisson. In 1940, d’Espie however sides with the German occupying forces. He takes the helm of a publishing house confiscated to Jewish owners, and writes and publishes propaganda in favor of the Nazis. Ambition and opportunism seem in both cases the reason accounting for these flip-flops – d’Espie always going for the quickest way to success, disregarding both his ideals and a posterity that will not be able to forgive his mistakes.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 11:37:08 AM
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Marie Puren. Jean de la hire : biographie intellectuelle et politique (1878-1956). Histoire. École nationale des chartes (Paris); Paris, Ecole nationale des chartes, 2016. Français. ⟨NNT : 2016ENCP0001⟩. ⟨tel-01937796⟩

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