a few months ago, Romain Gary made his entry into the Pantheon of literature. It is now his friend, to both writer and legend, Joseph " Jef " Kessel that between Thursday, in the Pléiade. A fitting tribute for the journalist and novelist, and a witness engaged in the running of the world, adventurer and member of the French Academy. Of the approximately 80 novels and tales, written by Joseph Kessel, the prestigious collection of Gallimard has retained a small score, presented in two volumes, which " consists of the essence of the novel in Kessel : the adventure ", stresses Serge Linkès, who has directed this edition.
in Parallel to the output of these two volumes, an album richly illustrated dedicated to the author of the Lion will be available to purchasers of the three volumes of the Pléiade. Volume 1 (1 968 pages, € 68) opens with one of the first texts of Kessel, The Crew (1923), the first commercial success of the writer. Volume 2 (1 808 pages, € 67) closes on the novel who has definitively dedicated, Riders (1967). "After that last masterpiece, if no one dared to doubt his status as a writer, himself had the greatest difficulty to write, wondering how he could do better," notes Serge Linkès, a lecturer at the university of La Rochelle and is a specialist in the work of Kessel.
also Read Philippe Labro – " Romain Gary and Joseph Kessel were legends ! "
He lived "his investigations, as well as the novels"
"Things, settings and people : we made them as a painter rather than a photographer, living in its investigations, as well as novels and giving his stories to the movement and life that animate the fiction," says Gilles Heuré, who directed the album Kessel and that was already at work for the volume devoted to Kessel in the collection in Quarto of Gallimard.
"a Witness among men"
But the most beautiful novel of Kessel will remain perhaps his own life. His adventurous life, often heroic, made the body with his work. What is the fate of the child born in January 1898 in Argentina to jewish parents of Russian. He spent his early childhood on the banks of the Urals before moving to France with his family at the age of 10 years. The result is known. Brilliant studies, enlisted in 1916. He finished the war pilot with the military medal and the croix de guerre on his peacoat blue. Paradox : he will get the French nationality in 1922 only. Because he intends to be " a witness among men ", it follows the drama of the revolution in ireland, explores the shallows of Berlin, flies on the first few lines of Aeropostale with Mermoz, sailed with the slavers of the Red sea.
Read also Kessel, a reporter at the Twentieth century
In 1940, he naturally joined the Resistance and engaged in the free French Forces of general de Gaulle. In may 1943, he composed with his nephew Maurice Druon (with music by Anna Marly) the words of the " Chant des Partisans ", destined to become the song of rallying to the Resistance. In homage to its fighters, he published The Army of shadows. He finished the war as captain of aviation and, again, decorated with the croix de guerre. At the Liberation, he resumed his activity as a reporter, witnesses the birth of Israel, following the Nuremberg trials, travels in Africa, in Burma, in Afghanistan... He collects the adventures, wars, women, hard liquor, soft drugs, the novels, the glory, the honours and misfortunes... François Mauriac, in his Bloc-notes, summed up his life : "It is these beings that all the excess has been allowed, and first, in the recklessness of the soldier and resistant, and who has won the universe without having lost its soul. "Date Of Update: 04 June 2020, 13:33