Henri Barbusse

1873 - 1935

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

country of citizenship:  France
native language:  French
languages spoken, written or signed:  French
position held:  literary editordirector

Henri Barbusse (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ʁi baʁbys]; 17 May 1873 – 30 August 1935) was a French novelist, short story writer, journalist, poet and political activist. He began his literary career in the 1890s as a Symbolist poet and continued as a neo-Naturalist novelist; in 1916, he published Under Fire, a novel about the World War I based on his experience which is described as one of the earliest works of the Lost Generation movement or as the work which started it; the novel had a major impact on the later writers of the movement, namely on Ernest Hemingway and Erich Maria Remarque. Barbusse is considered as one of the important French writers of 1910–1939 who mingled the war memories with moral and political meditations.Before the World War I, Barbusse was a pacifist, but in 1914, he volunteered for wartime service and was awarded with Croix de guerre; during the war, he was influenced by the Communists and came to belief that a Revolution against the imperialistic governments would be the only quick way to end the war and to deal with militarism and reaction. In years following the war, his work acquired a definite political orientation; he became a member of the French Communist Party and an Anti-Fascist and an anti-war activist. In the 1930s, he supported the Stalinist regime despite having a friendly relationship with Leon Trotsky in the middle of the 1920s and contributed to Joseph Stalin's personality cult by writing his biography which became a 'canonical' text for the French Stalinists, but wasn't in line with the glorification of Stalin in the USSR. He died in 1935 and didn't see the events that followed, like the Moscow trials and the Nazi-Soviet pact. He was a lifelong friend of Albert Einstein. Source: Wikipedia (en)


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