Paul Léautaud was both one of the oddest characters in French literature and, as a staff member of the review Mercure de France, at the centre of Parisian literary life for over half a century. First published in 1974, this book represents the first full length biography of Léautaud in any language. The author recreates the world of a man who, once regarded as a mere eccentric, is now recognised as a significant figure in contemporary literature. It traces Léautaud’s intimate friendships with many famous writers of the time and gives a lively panorama of the French literary scene and its vivid characters.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements; Introduction; I The Child in the Rue des Martyrs II First Love III The Mercure de France: Vallette, Rachilde, Gourmont and Schwon IV Diderots’ Nephew V Mother and Son VI Father and Son VII Women… and Animals VIII A Seat in the Stalls IX Friends: Billy, Apollinaire, Rouveyre, Gide X The Scourge XI The Journal XII The End of the Affair XIII The Radio Star XIV Last Things; Léautaud’s Works; Bibliography; Index