Adrien Bertrand - French novelist

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Adrien Bertrand (4 August 1888 - 18 November 1917) was a French novelist whose short career was punctuated by a series of striking surrealist anti-war novels, written as Bertrand lay dying from complications involved in a wound he suffered whilst serving with the French Army in the First World War.

    Bertrand was born in 1888, and after attending his local school, he departed for Paris, where he worked as a journalist on a number of papers, including Paris-Midi and L'Homme libre. During this period, he also began a literary magazine named Les Chimeres, which he used as a vehicle to publicise his socialist ideas and surrealist poetry, as well as give a voice to people of a like mind. Bertrand was a confirmed pacifist and just short of his 26th birthday when the First World War began, but nonetheless joined the French Army immediately, being given a position in the cavalry. For the next three months he was continuously engaged in the Battle of the Frontiers against the German Army and made a name for himself in his unit with some daring exploits.

    Late in October 1914 a German shell burst amongst his unit, and a slice of shrapnel tore into Bertrand's chest, causing irreparable damage to his lungs. Amazingly, Bertrand survived the immediate aftermath of the wound, and was eventually transferred to the lowest grade of military hospital, into what was effectively a hospice. Doctors had informed him that his lungs would never work properly again, he was permanently bedridden and that death was inevitable in his condition. Faced with long periods of boring enforced bed rest, Bertrand returned to his writing and created two powerful works before he finally succumbed to his wounds over three years after he received them.
  2. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

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