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André Beucler
French writer
1898 - 1985

A look at a life
(biographical milestones)

Third part

Autobiographie 1957
Notes autobiographiques 1960

Biography First part
Biography Second part
Biography Third part

1939 - 1945 The dark years
From Cabinet to Resistance
1945 - 1965 Life reconstructed Radio and the comeback to the novel
1965 - 1985 The calm years
Pleasures of memories

1939 - 1945
The dark years
From Cabinet to Resistance

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The 1939-1940 turning point will see Beucler's first and last official cohabitation with politics. He had never wanted to be a part of any institution, yet how could he resist Jean Giraudoux for whom he had never hidden his fascination. Jean Giraudoux, who was not really part of the system, even if he did pursue the functions of a civil servant.

Charge de mission in the Cabinet of the Commissariat a l'Information, he finds himself, yet again, amid friends: Louis Joxe, fellow-student at the Sorbonne, Rene Laporte, Andre Morize, Alexandre Guinle, Andre de Fels. He is in charge of special missions in Italy and Central Europe until the debacle. Once the Cabinet's archives are cleared to safety, he disappears for a time to the "free zone".

In the South of France, together again with his ex-wife, they set up a structure for underground contact and shelter where numerous people transit: wanted Jews and franc-tireurs in liaison with Colonel Jean Vautrin, discreet and anonymous correspondants of Giraudoux and maquisards. One of the maquisards was his own brother, Serge; an escaped prisoner of war, member of the Secret Army, Serge was killed during a mine clearance in 1945!
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Life reconstructed
Radio and the come-back to the novel

After the Liberation, Beucler leaves this underground life by "occupying" Radio Nice, in charge of the news. By his side are Paul Gilson, Albert Riera, Rene Lefebvre, Jean Effel and Francis Claude. Married again to his first wife, they have a second son and go "back up" to Paris where life must start again.

This time he is seduced by the radio. The feeling that cultural communication is a "domestic revolution" incites him to participate in it. In fact, the radio is an old acquaintance. He had already explored it in 1934 with François Perier, Maurice Escande and the composer Louis Beydts.

Very quickly he becomes a familiar companion to the RTF (Radio Television française) listeners, with regular broadcasts in which he can give free rein to his passion for the multiplicity of experiences: Adorables rengaines - with the assistance of pianist Francine Adam, he mingles opera and song, ballet and symphony, Chabrier and Trenet, Armstrong and Debussy. Modes et Travers de ce temps - elegant tirades concerning the drift away from values. Les Surprises de la rue. A special mention is to be made for Le Bureau de Poésie, a genuine "public service" open to beginners, those unrecognised, those turned down by written publishing, all they need is just one ounce of talent. Suddenly he is the one to receive the most mail at the radio, and the enthusiasm of the public seems unquenchable. Maria Casares, Emmanuelle Riva, Catherine Sellers, Michel Bouquet, Bruno Cremer, Pierre Vaneck, all lend their superb voices. The Bureau de Poésie is on the air for twenty years!

During the Occupation, Beucler wrote nothing. He just allowed the Editions du Sagitaire in Marseille to re-edit La Bete de Joie, a short story already printed in Marianne in the Thirties. After this eight year silence, he comes back to fiction with a very different approach to that of pre-war. In twenty years, he will only give us four novels: 29 bis troisième étage, Le Carnet de vengeance, Charmante, Ténébrus. His construction is much more classical, very elaborate, magnificently written, his approach is closer to that of a fascinating story-teller than of the exalted poet he was in the Twenties.

His readers won't necessarily loose out on anything. If they have undergone Beucler's charm, they will find in the second expression of his work a happy analogy with the first: the fascination engendered by his feminine characters, strange creatures, fatale, deliciously seductive, unforgettable.
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1965 - 1985
Calm years
Pleasures of memories

In the aftermath of the war, Andre Beucler, who had never really recovered from the brutal loss of his dearest friends: Leon-Paul Fargue, Jean Giraudoux, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Jean Prevost... devoted himself, in his own particular way, to celebrating their remembrance.

In 1948, he had already given the first and some of the best pages ever written about the author of l'Apollon de Bellac (Jean Giraudoux). In 1952, with an amazing series of anecdotes and sketches, he had managed to tell the untellable when evoking Leon-Paul Fargue.

Thanks to the pressure from many friends - Jean Paulhan, Jacques Audiberti, Blaise Cendrars, Roger Martin du Gard - he developed a taste for these literary portraits and the radio took advantage of this: in 1965, Andre Marissel on France-Culture devoted eight interviews to Andre Beucler, then Jean-Jose Marchand continued with a television project that, unfortunately, was never broadcast. Beucler himself produced two cycles of giralducian theatre with Louis Jouvet on French and Swiss radio.

And then, driven by health needs and aided by nostalgia, Beucler retired to Nice in the Seventies, with his wife, married for the third time.

Facing the Baie des Anges, he willingly entertains the numerous visitors attracted by the charm of his gift of fluency, his courtesy and his recollections.
It is here that he came up with his last two collections: with characteristic modesty, he took care not to tell the story of his life but rather to fix the portraits of his most dearest fellow-travellers. Here, too, that he sometimes went back to painting, something he'd always wanted to do, and then here, in Nice, on 26th February 1985...that he left us

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Edited in his lifetime, Andre Beucler's work composes 42 volumes; 15 novels, 6 essays, 6 collections of portraits and memoirs.

Included in his work are about fifty tales and short stories printed in the press, over a 1000 articles, chronicles and reports, the same number of radio broadcasts and he also participated in about ten films.

Without forgetting numerous unpublished texts.

Two books have been translated into English:

The last of the Bohemians Twenty years with Léon-Paul Fargue
with an Introduction by Archibald Mac Leich
William Sloane Associates, Publishers 1954 New York

Poet of Paris Twenty years with Léon-Paul Fargue
Translated by Geoffrey Sainsbury
Chatto & Windus 1955 London

And the film "Ladykiller" (Gueule d'amour)

Seconde partie

Accueil  I   L'Association  I  La Revue  I  Evénements
Biographie  I  Œuvres disponibles  I  Bibliographie  I  Lire André Beucler  I  Cinéma  I  Varia I  Radio
André Beucler par les écrivains du XXe s.  I  Récits et nouvelles parus en revues  I  Impressions sur...  I  Liens

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