Georges Navel

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Georges Navel
Born Charles François Victor Navel
30 October 1904
Died 1 November 1993(1993-11-01) (aged 89)
Die, Drôme
Occupation Writer

Georges Navel (30 October 1904 – 1 November 1993) was a French socialist writer, laborer, adjuster, farmer, agricultural worker, beekeeper and printer. He lived in Paris (1954–1970).


Of a peasant origin, his father worked in blast furnaces and his mother worked in the fields and woods while raising her children, of which Georges was the thirteenth.

During the First World War, young George was sent to Algeria for a few months by the Red-Cross which took care of the village children exposed to bombing; he then joined his family in Lyon.

In 1918, in the company of his brothers, he attended meetings and meetings organised by avant-garde groups and dreamt of a anarchist communist society.

From 1920, he attended the evening classes of the Union University where he met the doctor Émile Malespine who published the magazine Manomètre in which Hans Arp, Tristan Tzara, Jules Supervielle etc. participated

From 1927-1933, he absconded from military service, living under false papers.

On 29 July 1936, he left for Barcelona in order to support the Spanish Revolution and fought in the ranks of the Francisco Ascaso column. He returned to France a month and a half later, the victim of an insolation doubled with gastritis. This short experience, he recounted in La Révolution prolétarienne, Août 1936 en Espagne (n°583, June 1972).

While earning his life as an itinerant worker and then as editor of printing from 1954 to 1970, he wrote for L'Humanité and Commune, published autobiographical novels, corresponded with Bernard Groethuysen. The best known of these works, "Travaux", which relates in particular his experiences as a worker, ends with these words: "There is a kind of sadness in the worker's lot, which is cured only by participation in politics. Now in spirit I was at one with my class."[1]


  • 1945: Travaux, Stock, (Prix Sainte-Beuve in 1946) [Man At Work, Dennis Dobson, 1949]
  • 1950: Parcours, Gallimard
  • 1952: Sable et limon, Gallimard
  • 1960: Chacun son royaume, Gallimard
  • 1982: Passages, Le Sycomore



External links[edit]


  1. ^ Navel, George [trans. George Reavey]Man At Work, Dennis Dobson Ltd, 1949, p239