|Born:||October 3, 1886 |
Chapelle d’Anguillon (Cher), France
|Died:||September 22, 1914 |
Les Éparges (Meuse), France
|Writing period:||1909 – 1914|
Alain-Fournier was the pseudonym of Henri Alban-Fournier (October 3, 1886 – September 22, 1914), a French author and soldier. He was the author of a single novel Le Grand Meaulnes (1913), which was made into a film, and is considered a classic of French literature.
Alain-Fournier was born in La Chapelle-d'Angillon, in the Cher département, in central France, the son of a school teacher. He studied at the Lycée Lakanal in Sceaux, Hauts-de-Seine, near Paris, where he prepared for the entrance examination to the École Normale Supérieure, but without success. He then studied at the merchant marine school in Brest.
From 1908 to 1909, he performed his military service. He returned to Paris in 1910 and became a literary critic, writing for the Paris Journal. There he met André Gide and Paul Claudel.
From 1910 to 1912, while working as the personal assistant of the politician Casimir Perrier, Alain-Fournier worked on his novel, Le Grand Meaulnes, based on a number of different episodes and real persons in the author's life. The novel was published in 1913, first in the Nouvelle Revue Française, and then as a book. Le Grand Meaulnes was nominated for, but did not win, the prestigious Goncourt Prize.
In 1914, Alain-Fournier started work on a second novel, Colombe Blanchet, but this remained unfinished when he joined the army in August. He died fighting near Les Éparges (Meuse) one month later. His body remained unidentified until 1991, at which time he was laid to rest in the cemetery of Saint Remy la Colonne.
Most of the writing of Alain-Fournier was published posthumously: Les Miracles (a volume of poems and essays) in 1924, his correspondence with the writer and critic Jacques Rivière in 1926 and his letters to his family in 1930.
Nancay, Loire valley, France, widely thought to be the inspiration for the setting for Le Grand Meaulnes.