The white Review with the magnifying glass

Posted: October 10, 2007 in Literary Magazine, October 2007 Issues

By Jean-Baptist Baronian
The Literary Magazine n°468
October 2007

In addition to Alfred Jarry and Octave Mirbeau, the white Review accomodated talented writers, aujourd’hui forgotten.

Jarry and Octave Mirbeau, the white Review accomodated talented writers, aujourd’hui forgotten.

“Center of rallying of all the divergences” according to the formula d’André Gide, the white Review regularly makes l’objet, these last decades, d’études and of work. Witness, the very recent bibliography of the a hundred and forty pounds qu’elle published, of 1892 to 1902, established by Patrick Fréchet with the editions of Lérot (see the literary Magazine n° 461).

Aujourd’hui appears, under the signature of Paul-Henri Bourrelier, l’ouvrage richest, vastest, most detailed and undoubtedly most exhaustive on the review, its activities and its history. They are twelve hundred pages in small characters where all is thoroughly described and commenté: life of the three Natanson brothers, founders, the part played by famous collaborators like Alfred Jarry or Mirbeau Octave, l’affaire Dreyfus, Nabis, writings of Claude Debussy, operas of Richard Wagner, occult sciences if appraisals in the French cultural life of the end of the XIXe siècle…

One of the great interests of this work is to put l’accent on figures aujourd’hui little known, but extremely active and sometimes extremely influential with l’époque. C’est as Paul-Henri Bourrelier devotes a whole chapter to Gustave Kahn qu’il describes as “ombrageux poet” and which one will remember qu’il was one of the flag-holders of symbolism. In the same way, it s’attarde on the curious personality of Victor Barrucand, one of the pillars of the white Review since 1895, at the same time “fighter, globe trotter, cosmopolitan, seducer unrepentant, inventive, dilettante”. In revolt against the injustices of the company, Barrucand will n’aura be to be strictly accurate an anarchist. On the other hand, it will have l’idée d’en to change the reports/ratios of force by proposing the free distribution of bread “In l’état present, will say it, one can quite simply die of hunger. C’est the social evil qu’il is necessary to cure, before speaking about the cases d’anémie. “In 1900, it was to publish With fire, a novel which occurs in the anarchistic mediums at the time from the attacks. The Phébus editions republished this book in 2005, with an excellent presentation d’Éric Dussert.
Evocations of this type, one finds tens throughout this history of them. Manes for impassioned letters and the bibliophiles, always in search of references and bent information hand. From now on, c’est sure, one will not be able to evoke any more the white Review without speaking at once about Paul-Henri Bourrelier and his gigantic work.

The white Review, a generation in l’engagement, 1890-1905, Paul-Henri Harness-maker
Éd. Beech, 1195 p., 29 €.

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