Lucien Fabre

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Lucien Fabre (14 February 1889 - 1952) was a French writer and engineer.

Portrait of Lucien Fabre, by Édouard Vuillard, 1920



Lucien Fabre's Einstein book from 1921 with a fake "préface de M. Einstein"

Fabre was born at Pampelonne. Before his literary career, in 1921 he published a popular science book entitled Einstein's theories: a new face in the world. This book is among the first in French on relativity, with a foreword by Albert Einstein. Einstein replied to Maurice Solovine that the text serving as preface was a letter to the addressee purchased by Fabre. After Einstein had contacted the editor, the preface of the book was withdrawn for the second edition in 1922, but replaced by a derogatory comment to Einstein [1] According to other sources, it seems that Einstein criticized Fabre mainly for mentioning in his preface his pacifist views, at a time when it was a danger in the eyes of the German public.


He was a brilliant character of the French Third Republic, industrialist, artist, and close friend of the poet Paul Valéry, Leon-Paul Fargue and the violinist Jacques Thibaud. He is now largely forgotten, probably because of his extreme eclecticism which is no longer popular; a characteristic which sealed his style, making him difficult to read. His story is interesting: restless cosmopolitan businessman who scoured Europe before the war, in his private plane, leaving a board of directors, to join a literary salon, he embodied now outdated image of a lover of high culture, who could be a hard man of action in business, and make the biggest play in a variety of fields ranging from science (theories of relativity) to poetry through drama, the novel (Prix Goncourt 1923), theology, and art of engineering.

This great Parisian bourgeois who had a golden wedding by marrying a young woman, from one of the richest families of the Champ de Mars in Paris never lost touch with his Languedoc roots. Born near Carmaux in the Segala Tarn, he kept all his life a deep affection for country life that grounded his childhood. Several of his books recreate the atmosphere and character which prevailed in this austere and poor land. In Carmaux he met Jean Jaurès, who won a scholarship to prepare the Central School which he entered in 1908. He kept all his life bonds of affection and conviction with the socialist circles, and in particular with Léon Blum. His attachment to his land and how he had managed to combine the brilliance and rawness of the Occitan language of his origins, with the French conceptual refinement, into the prestigious universal language dominant at the time, make him a model of regionalism, rid of any naïve nativism that allowed him to combine the writing of poetry texts, in the sophisticated vein of his master Paul Valéry (who had dedicated "the sleeper", one of his best known poems) of learned science treatises, and theology, and novels very much alive when the native Languedoc was depicted in an original and inspired.



  • Les théories d'Einstein: une nouvelle figure du monde Paris: Payot, 1921
  • Bassesse de Venise, précédé de La Traversée de l'Europe en avion et du légat (1924). Gallimard (essays)
  • Le Ciel de l'oiseleur (1934), Gallimard (essays)
  • Connaissance de la déesse (1924), préface de Paul Valéry. Gallimard (poetry)
  • Le Paradis des amants (1931), Collection blanche, Gallimard (novel)
  • Rabevel ou le mal des ardents (1923), trois volumes, Collection blanche, Gallimard (novel)
  • Le Rire et les rieurs (1929), Collection blanche, Gallimard (essays)
  • Le Tarramagnou (1925), Collection blanche, Gallimard (novel)
  • Vanikoro (1925). Gallimard (poetry)
  • Dieu est innocent: tragédie, Lucien Fabre, Paul Valéry, Nagel, 1946
  • Jeanne d'Arc (1948), Tallandier


  1. ^ Albert Einstein, Œuvres choisies, tome 4 : Correspondances françaises, (ISBN 978-2020101776)