Dominique de Roux

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Dominique de Roux
Born(1935-11-17)November 17, 1935
Boulogne-Billancourt, France
DiedMarch 29, 1977(1977-03-29) (aged 41)
Suresnes, France
OccupationWriter, publisher
GenresNovel, essay

Dominique de Roux (September 17, 1935 – March 29, 1977) was a French writer and publisher.

Life and career[edit]

Dominique de Roux was born in a Languedoc noble family which was close to the monarchist circles (his grandfather, Marie de Roux, was the lawyer of Charles Maurras and the Action Française). While always deeply attached to his Charente land, Dominique de Roux showed an early independence and the desire to devote himself to the literature.

In the late 1950s Dominique de Roux made several language courses and periods of work in Germany, Spain and England. Upon his return, he founded with several friends (including his brother Xavier de Roux, his sister Marie-Helene de Roux and Jean Thibaudeau) the mimeographed bulletin L'Herne, where he published his "Confidences to Guillaume", a chronic of lyrical cynicism addressed to his geranium. At the same time, he did his military service in France at an air base. In 1960 he married Jacqueline Brusset, daughter of Gaullist deputy Max Brusset. Their son Pierre-Guillaume Roux was born in 1963 and later became a publisher.

In 1960 he published his first novel, Mademoiselle Anicet, and redevelop his review in the final form of the Cahiers de l'Herne, a collection of monographs devoted to freely ignored or cursed figures of literature, including articles, documents and unpublished texts. After volumes on René-Guy Cadou (1961) and Georges Bernanos (1962), there were books about Borges, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, Ezra Pound, Witold Gombrowicz and Pierre Jean Jouve. He personally directed the books devoted to Burroughs, Pélieu, Henri Michaux, Ungaretti, Louis Massignon, Lewis Carroll, H. P. Lovecraft, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Julien Gracq, Dostoyevsky, Karl Kraus, Gustav Meyrink, Thomas Mann, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, Arthur Koestler and Raymond Abellio, which imposed L'Herne on the French literary scene.

In 1966, the publication of his essay La Mort de L.-F. Céline[1] opens the publishing house which he co-founded with Christian Bourgois,[2] named after the name of the latter. Meanwhile, L'Herne added to its activities the actual publishing. At thirty years old, Dominique de Roux is among the prominent figures of French literature, omnipresent and rough in the polemics, especially against the Tel Quel group.

After listening to poets and writers of the beat generation (especially Claude Pélieu, Allen Ginsberg and Bob Kaufman) and mainly his meeting with Witold Gombrowicz,[3] to whom he also devotes an essay and a book of interviews, he reveals the possibility to retreat from the bustle of Paris. Two traumatic events happened for Dominique de Roux : the censorship of his collection of aphorisms Immédiatement (1971) at the request of Roland Barthes (called a "shepherdess") and Maurice Genevoix (presented as a "writer for field mice") and the takeover of the editions of L'Herne by Constantin Tacou in favor of financial maneuvers later in the year 1973.

Dominique de Roux began a life of wandering and took refuge in Lisbon and then in Geneva. Under these conditions he started his new magazine Exil and launched new book series, Dossiers H, in Éditions L'Âge d'Homme. He published several pamphlets and devoted considerable energy to the journalism and television, being a correspondent in the Portuguese world at the times of implosion and war in its colonies (Guinea-Bissau, Angola, Mozambique).

Roux weaved and networked actively in the lusophone world, primarily because he served the SDECE and also because of his adherence to a "political transcendentalism" inspired by reading Raymond Abellio with whom his relations were intensifying at the time.[4] This is embodied in his utopia of a "Gaullist International" and in his idea that Portugal represents the assumption of a universal civilization.

In April 1974, at the time of the Carnation Revolution, Dominique de Roux is the only French journalist present at Lisbon, and probably one of the foreigners who have the most direct access to General Spínola. He then devoted several years to assist the Angolan opposition leader Jonas Savimbi to deal with international press and foreign ministries, as well as to conduct the guerrilla. This contribution to the history of his time - which has sometimes been compared to his friend Malraux - also gives impetus to his latest works: Le Cinquième Empire published two weeks before his sudden death at age 41, of a heart attack linked to Marfan syndrome, and the posthumous La Jeune fille au ballon rouge et Le Livre nègre.


  • Mademoiselle Anicet, Julliard, 1960 ; réed. Le Rocher, 1998
  • L'Harmonika-Zug, La Table Ronde, 1963 ; réed. Folio-Gallimard, 1983
  • Maison jaune, Bourgois, 1969, 1989
  • Le Cinquième empire, Belfond, 1977 ; réed. Le Rocher, 1997
  • La Jeune fille au ballon rouge, Bourgois, 1978 ; réed. Le Rocher, 2001
  • Le Livre nègre, Le Rocher, 1997
  • La Mort de L.-F. Céline, Petite Vermillon, réed. La Table ronde, 2007
  • La Mort de L.-F. Céline, Bourgois, 1966, réed. 1994
  • L'Écriture de Charles de Gaulle, Éditions universitaires, 1967 ; réed. Le Rocher, 1994
  • L'Ouverture de la chasse, L'Âge d'homme, 1968 ; réed. Le Rocher, 2005
  • Contre Servan-Schreiber, Balland, 1970
  • Gombrowicz, 10/18, 1971 ; réed. Bourgois, 1996
  • Immédiatement, Bourgois, 1972 ; réed. La Table ronde, 1995 et 2009
  • Ne traversez pas le Zambèze, La Proue, 1973
  • La France de Jean Yanne, Calmann-Lévy, 1974
  • Gamal Abdel Nasser, L'Âge d'homme, 2002
  • Il faut partir : Correspondances inédites (1953-1977), Fayard, 2007


External links[edit]