Barbusse French novelist several novels, including L’enfer (1908), Le couteau entre mes dents (1921), and a biography of Stalin (1936) English mother, French father small-town upbringing, to Paris age 16, then to war increasingly disenchanted, then pacifist then Communist for remainder of his life fights for 17 months in the war 1914-15 invalided out of service for asthma, dysentery, wounds writes Le Feu at his desk job 1916
Le Feu (Under Fire) published in Dec. 1916 wins Prix Goncourt trans. into English and published June 1917 naturalism realism journal – documentary reportage what claims does this make? what promises?
Structure opens with a broad vision closes with a broad vision anecdotes, episodes what does this do to the events, our experience of them? first-hand narrative again, what contracts, promises, etc. does this make? p. 155 – swearwords issue of translation, language, truth, objectivity anything else?
Paradigm Shift Let’s begin with the title: Le feu – what does that mean? pp. 6-7 “après moi, le déluge” (Louis XV or Madame de Pompadour) fire, smoke, flood, fire, water, ooze, apocalypse