Pierre Courtade: The Making of a Party Scribe
by John Flower
Pierre Courtade (1915-1963) was recognised by his peer group to be an independent, sharply intelligent thinker and a talented writer. His principal ... Show synopsis Pierre Courtade (1915-1963) was recognised by his peer group to be an independent, sharply intelligent thinker and a talented writer. His principal work consists of journalism -- near daily articles in the Communist press during the late 1940s and 1950s -- six novels (two unpublished) and two volumes of short stories. This first study of Courtade examines the conflict between his private and public personas and in particular his role as a political commentator and as an artist struggling to reconcile his talent with the demands made by Party ideology. Courtade's life and work is analysed in light of archival material and interviews with people who knew and worked with him. The author assesses Courtade's contribution to French left-wing intellectual life and places him in the context of the evolution of French intellectuals' political commitment in the 20th century. As witness to some of the most critical periods in French history -- the Occupation and the Resistance, the Cold War and French involvement in Indo-China -- Courtade's responses provide fascinating insights and a new perspective on this turbulent time.