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Raymond Radiguet


2014: New biography added
New The Devil In The Flesh Book Review - 2014

RAYMOND RADIGUET was born on June 18th, 1903; he died, without knowing it, on December 12th, 1923, after a miraculous life.

The literary tribunal has found his heart arid. Raymond Radiguet's heart was hard, and like a diamond it did not react to the least touch. It needed fire and other diamonds, and ignored the rest.

Do not accuse fate. Do not speak of injustice. He belonged to the solemn race of men whose lives unfold too quickly to their close.

Raymond Radiguet Devil in the Flesh

"True presentiments," he wrote at the end of The Devil In The Flesh, "are formed at a depth that the mind does not reach. Thus they sometimes make us do things that we misinterpret....A disorderly man who is going to die and does not know it suddenly put his affairs in order. His life changes. He sorts his papers. He rises and goes to bed early. He gives up his vices. His friends are pleased. Then his brutal death seems all the more unjust to them. He would have lived happily."

For four months Raymond Radiguet became meticulous; he slept, he sorted, he revised. I was stupid enough to be glad of it; I had mistaken for a nervous disorder the intricacies of a machine that cuts crystal.

Here are his last words:

"Listen," he said to me on December 9th, "listen to something terrible. In three days I am going to be shot by the soldiers of God." While tears choked me, as I invented other explanations: "Your explanations," he continued, "are not so good as mine. The order has been given. I heard the order."

Later, he said: "There is a colour that moves and people hidden in the colour."

I asked if he wanted them sent away. He answered: "You cannot send them away as you cannot see the colour."

Then, he sank.

He moved his mouth, he called us by name, he looked with surprise at his mother, at his father, at his hands.

Raymond Radiguet began.

Raymond Radiguet

For he left three volumes. A collection of unpublished poems, The Devil In The Flesh, a masterpiece of promise, and the promise fulfilled : Count d'Orgel.

One is frightened by a child of twenty who publishes a book that cannot be written at that age. The dead of yesterday are eternal. The author of Count d'Orgel was the ageless writer of a dateless book.

He received the proofs in the hotel room where his fever consumed him. He intended to make no alteration to them.

His death robs us of memoirs of his development; three short stories; a long appendix to The Devil In The Flesh; Ile de France; and Charles d'Orleans, an historical picture, imaginary in the same way as the false autobiography of his first novel.

The only honour that I claim is to have given to Raymond Radiguet in his life the illustrious place won for him by his death.

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Cocteau met Raymond Radiguet, the "child with the walking stick", around 1918. Together they went to Le Piquey, in the Bay of Arcachon on the Atlantic coast, and Le Lavandou, where they would spend the next few summers. It was here where Radiguet wrote La Diable au corps (The Devil in the Flesh) and Le Bal du comte d'Orgel (Count Orgel Opens the Ball).

~ Source: Jean Cocteau L'Exposition/The Exhibition

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Raymond Radiguet ~ New Biography

Raymond Radiguet New Biography Radiguet invaded Paris in his adolescence, as Rimbaud had done years before, and at once settled into a bohemian existence there. Since he had come from the suburb of Parc-de-St.-Maur, on the Marne, he became known in Montparnasse as "the miracle of the Marne." Radiguet soon met the poets Max Jacob and Jean Cocteau, as well as other avant-garde writers...more.

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Devil in the Flesh

Raymond Radiguet Devil in the Flesh Book  Review I don't think there will ever be anybody who would explain to me how someone so young could write something so penetratingly mature. Yes Radiguet had read and absorbed the classics but you just cannot have written this stuff without first experiencing it. I have never read a better book. It moved me like no other, made me sad at the cruelness that is only all too human ... I first read it in one sitting as I just could not put the book down...more.

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The Dreyfus Affair

The Dreyfus Affair France, a country so often shaken apart and split in the past and yet somehow always managing to maintain a stubborn national pride, was shaken and split apart for a dozen years or more by the Dreyfus affair, which began in 1894. The excitement of the case invaded French literature and went far beyond the borders of France if only in that it projected a pattern of twentieth-century experience....more.

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Paul Valéry

Paul Valéry Biography Paul Valéry, who published his most important verse between 1917 and 1922, is the greatest French poet the 20th century produced. He was born in 1871, along the Mediterranean, near Montpellier, to a Corsican father an Italian mother. In his youth he spent his vacations in the north of Italy, whose architecture fascinated him. He attended the lycee at Montpellier and, for a while...more.

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Alain Fournier

Alain Fournier Biography Page - Wanderer or Le Grand Meaulnes Novel Review To my mind, there are two really great young novelists (under 30) in the 20th century. They were French and between them produced three completed novels before their early deaths. One was Raymond Radiguet and the other was Alain Fournier. He was dead by the time he was 28. A life maybe forgotten by all except his nearest and dearest if it wasn't for THAT book, his only completed novel, Le Grand Meaulnes...more.

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