Henri Pourrat

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Henri Pourrat (7 May 1887 in Ambert (Puy de Dome) – 16 July 1959 in Ambert) was a French writer and anthropologist who collected the oral literature of the Auvergne.

Biography[edit]

After attending the College d'Ambert and the Lycee Henri IV in Paris, Henri Pourrat was destined to pursue a career in agriculture and was admitted at the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in 1905. However, due to an infection with tuberculosis, he sought a more healthy climate in the valleys of Monts Dore and in the Livradois and Forez regions, which he would roam in countless hikes over the next fifty years.

He lived in a house at Vernet-la-Varenne. The enforced leisure, spent with reading and walking, developed in him the need to write. The work of Henri Pourrat would eventually comprise hundreds of books, including novels, biographies, collections of stories and poems. From 1916 on he and his brother Paul were friends with the young Alexander Vialatte (1901–1971). In 1948 he permanently settled in the sub-prefecture Ambert of the Puy-de-Dôme department from which he originated.

In 1926 he received an honorary degree of the University of Dublin. He obtained special recognition by the literary critics for his monumental The Valor, pranks and adventures of Jasper of the mountains (4 volumes, 1921–1931 and final edition in one volume by Albin Michel), for which he was awarded the Prize Figaro (1921, Volume 1) and the Grand Prix du Roman of the Académie française (1931 overall). In 1941 he received the Prix Goncourt for Martian Wind[1] and in the same year obtained the Muteau (fr) Prize of the French Academy for his historical book Man with a spade.[2]

He occasionally contributed to Le Courrier français.

The last decade of his life was dedicated to what he regarded as his masterpiece, The Treasure of the tales.

Vichy[edit]

Between the world wars he contributed to the weekly Le Flambeau of the far right Croix-de-feu.

On 14 October 1940, at the invitation of Pourrat, who championed a return to the roots,[3] Marshal Philippe Pétain, head of Vichy France, came "to a meeting of working people" in Ambert, near Vichy, visited the paper mill, the oldest in the Livradois (fr) region, and took possession of a ream of paper watermarked with his emblem. On this occasion Henry Pourrat published "The French Peasant"[4] and "The French leader" articles dedicated to Marshal Petain and his policy of Back to the Earth.[5] Subsequently, Henry Pourrat departed from the National Revolution, writing in letters about his change of political affiliation.

Founder of the association La Feuille Blanche, Pourrat created the Moulin Richard de Bas, a museum dedicated to paper,[6] and tried to set up a graphic arts village.[6] The museum was inaugurated on 3 July 1943 in the presence of Georges Henri Riviere, director of the Musée national des Arts et Traditions Populaires.[7]

The Association "Friends of Henri Pourrat" tried to preserve his work from oblivion. In 1979, to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of the writer, FR3 Auvergne Radio conducted a series of 10 programs for the series "History talk" (Histoire d'en parler) by Christian Lassalas. Excerpts of these broadcasts were recorded on the audio cassette "Recollections of Henri Pourrat" published by "The Friends of Henri Pourrat." On it testimony of Lucien Gachon (fr), Jean Banière, Claude Pourrat, Annette Pourrat, Roger Gardes, Michel Versepuy and the voice of Henri Pourrat can be heard.

His work is highly diverse: early poems, novels, biographies, historical essays, philosophical or religious stories. Far from the narrow context of regionalism, Auvergne folk tales for him were the best place to discover and understand the nature and spirit of the farmer and thereby "attain the universal." He devoted almost twelve to thirteen years of his life to sift through the monumental treasure of tales to which he attached great importance.

Many of his works were illustrated by his friend François Angeli (fr) (13 February 1890 – 30 May 1974), the brother of Jean Angeli (also Jean l'Olagne, 1886–1915), a childhood friend of Henry Pourrat.

Works[edit]

  • Sur la colline ronde, avec Jean l'Olagne, roman, Imprimerie Moderne, 1912, réédition: La Colline Ronde, Gallimard, 1927.
  • Les Montagnards, poème, Payot, 1919. Prix Archon-Desperouses.
  • Liberté, poème, Societé Littéraire de France, 1921.
  • Les vaillances, farces et aventures de Gaspard des montagnes, Albin Michel, 1922–1931, 4 volumes
  • Les jardins sauvages, essai, Gallimard, 1923.
  • La combe délaissée, Pigeonnier, 1925.
  • Le mauvais garçon, roman, Gallimard, 1925.
  • Les Devins, Ducros et Colas, 1926.
  • La Fontaine au Bois Dormant, Les Cahiers de Paris, 1926.
  • Dans l'herbe des trois vallées, essai, Bloud et Gay, 1927; Albin Michel, 1943.
  • Ceux d'Auvergne, Horizons de France collection types et coutumes, 1928, Abin Michel, 1939.
  • La ligne verte, Gallimard, 1929.
  • La veillée de Novembre, La Tortue, 1929; Ed. de la Cigale, 1937.
  • Le meneur de loups, Pigeonnier, 1930.
  • Le bosquet pastoral, Gallimard, 1931.
  • La bataille du Puy-de-Dôme, Denoël et Steele, 1931.
  • L'Auvergne. Les Limagnes, coll. Les beaux Pays, Arthaud, 1932.
  • Les sorciers du canton, Gallimard, 1933.
  • Monts et merveilles, roman, Albin Michel, 1934.
  • Au fort de l'Auvergne, coll. Les beaux Pays, Arthaud, 1935.
  • La Cité perdue, SPES, 1935.
  • Contes de la bûcheronne, Mame, 1936.
  • Toucher terre, La Cigale, 1936.
  • Le Secret des Compagnons, Gallimard, 1937
  • La Porte du verger, La Cigale, 1938.
  • Visages de l'Auvergne, avec Lucien Gachon, André Bossuat, Henri CHarlier et Alexandre Vialatte, Horizons de France, 1938.
  • Georges ou les journées d'Avril, roman, Gallimard, 1940.
  • L'Homme à la bêche (Histoire du Paysan), Flammarion, 1940
  • Le Paysan français, Sorlot, 1940.
  • Vent de mars, Gallimard, 1941. Prix Goncourt.
  • Le Chef français, Laffont, 1942.
  • Sully et sa grande passion, Flammarion, 1942.
  • Le Blé de Noël, Le Sagittaire, 1943.
  • La Maison-Dieu, L'Épervier, 1943; Albin Michel, 1944.
  • Le Temps qu'il fait, Colbert, 1944.
  • Sous le Pommier (Les Proverbes de la Terre ou le Commencement de la Sagesse), Albin michel, 1945.
  • Les Saints Patrons, Imagerie Française, 1945.
  • La Bienheureuse Passion, Albin Michel, 1946.
  • Histoire fidèle de la bête de Gévaudan, Éditions de l'épervier, 1946, broché, 23*18 cm, bois gravés de Ph. Zeppelin, 125 p.
  • Les Légendes d'Auvergne, 1947.
  • Le chemin des chèvres, 1947.
  • Le Trésor des contes Tome I, Gallimard, 1948.
  • L'école buissonnière, La Nouvelle Édition, 1949.
  • Le Loup-garou et sa bande, Attinger, 1949.
  • Le Trésor des contes Tome II, Gallimard, 1949.
  • Trois contes de la Colère, Elzévir, 1949.
  • Le Sage et son Démon, Albin Michel, 1950.
  • Le chasseur de la nuit, roman, Albin Michel, 1951.
  • L'homme à la peau de loup, Attinger, 1951.
  • Les Saints de France, Boivin, 1951.
  • Le Trésor des contes Tome III, Gallimard, 1951.
  • La belle Mignonne, roman, Mame, 1951.
  • Conté sous l'Alisier, Fanlac, 1951.
  • L'Auvergne, dans: Provinces de France, Odé, 1951.
  • Batailles et brigandages, 1952.
  • Histoire des gens dans les montagnes du Centre, Albin Michel, 1959.
  • En Auvergne (rééd. en un volume de I: Les Limagnes; II Au fort de l'Auvergne), Arthaud, 1966.
  • Les Amours, roman.
  • Les Jours: leurs travaux et leurs sorts. Bois en couleur de Philippe Keppelin. Lettrines en couleur de Crous Vidal.
  • Les contes du Pré Carré.
  • Les Contes du fraisier sauvage.
  • Europe et Paradis.
  • L'exorciste.
  • L'Aventure de Roquefort.
  • Châteaux en Auvergne.
  • Almanach des saisons.
  • L'Épopée de Guillaume Douarre.
  • Ma maison manque de prières.
  • Correspondance avec Alexandre Vialatte, Presses de l'Université de Clermont Ferrand,

References[edit]

  1. ^ Christian Faure, « Vent de Mars d'Henri Pourrat, Prix Goncourt 1941, ou la consécration d'une œuvre littéraire par le Régime de Vichy », Bulletin du Centre d'Histoire économique et sociale de la région lyonnaise, Lyon, n°1, 1982, p. 5-25:
  2. ^ Gisèle Sapiro, « La raison littéraire : Le Champs littéraire français sous l'Occupation (1940-1944) », Actes de la recherche en sciences sociales, Année 1996, Volume 111, p. 6
  3. ^ Christian Faure, "Littérature et société (1940-1944): La mystique vichyssoise du "Retour à la terre", selon l'œuvre d'Henri Pourrat", Mémoire de Maîtrise Histoire contemporaine, Université Lyon 2, 1981, 116 p., 8 pl., in "Chroniques historiques d'Ambert", Ambert, n°11,1988, 125p.
  4. ^ Cahiers de politique nationale, n°3, Paris, 1941
  5. ^ Publié par R. Laffont à Marseille en 1942
  6. ^ a b Christian Faure, "Paysans et artisans objets de musées - 1940-1944", communication au Colloque sur "L'Environnement matériel paysan", Université Lyon 2, mai 1987, Bulletin du Centre d'Histoire économique et sociale de la région lyonnaise, Lyon, n°2-3, 1987, pp.77-98
  7. ^ Christian Faure, Le Projet culturel de Vichy, Folklore et Révolution nationale 1940-1944, Coédition Presses Universitaires de Lyon - Éditions du CNRS, 1989, 336 p. ISBN 978-2-7297-0343-1 [1]