Pierre Drieu La Rochelle

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Harukichi Shimoi

Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (3 January 1893 – 15 March 1945) was a French writer of novels, short stories, and political essays. He was born, lived and died in Paris. Drieu La Rochelle became a proponent of French fascism in the 1930s, and was a well-known collaborationist during the German occupation. He is best known for his books Le Feu Follet and Gilles.


Gilles (1939)[edit]

  • Finally, he allowed himself to look around, to desire. This whole world, which he had disdained for so many months, appeared new. He could have hated men, but he only saw the women, whom he adored. It was a balmy evening. If he had looked at the horizon, as he did at the front, but immediately forgot to do in that grand city that demands the attention of all a man's senses, he would have seen a charming sky. A starless Paris sky. It was a mild evening, slightly veined with cold. The women were opening their furs. They were glancing at him. Workers and girls. The girls tempted him more than the workers, and he wanted to play with his desire to the point of grinding his teeth or fainting. Everyone seemed to be moving towards a goal. And he, too, had a goal, the form of which was still unknown to him. Sooner or later, that shape would reveal itself.
  • Myriam had performed a miracle for him, the miracle of money. The appearance of money in some lives can be a miracle like that of love: it stirs the imagination and the senses powerfully, at least in the first moment.
  • Most of what is reported by historians of the lives of men is but a residue; they speak of political action, but political action is but a residue. There is, for example, the sky, colours, smells, women, children, old men. God is present everywhere bearing a thousand names: politics and history takes no account of this.
  • “You see, my little one, bringing a child into the world is the ultimate selfish act. When you make a child, you're thinking only of yourself, and sometimes of the woman you're making one with. That's the truth of the matter. Then your selfishness continues. You inevitably impose an education and a direction on this child. We're neither of those fools, those pale turnips of rationalism, those Pilates who wash their hands and say: “I don't want to impose anything on my son; later, he'll choose.” You can't make a vacuum around your child; at most, you can make slack. Whether we like it or not."

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