Berl, Emmanuel 1892–1976

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Berl, Emmanuel 1892–1976

PERSONAL: Born August 2, 1892, in Vésinet, France; died September 22, 1976. Education: Sorbonne, graduated, 1913.

CAREER: Journalist and author. Editorial director, Pierre Drieu la Rochelle (weekly magazine), 1927, and Marianne (weekly newspaper), 1932–37; coeditor, Pavé de Paris, 1927, and Les Derniers Jours, 1937; government speech writer, 1940. Military service: French Army, 1914–17; served during World War I; received Military Cross.

AWARDS, HONORS: Grand Prix de Littérature, Académie Française, 1967; Marcel Proust Prize, 1975.


Recherches sur la nature de l'amour, Plon-Nourrit (Paris, France), 1923, translated by Fred Rothwell as The Nature of Love, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1924.

Méditation sur un amour défunt (novel), B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1925, reprinted, 1992.

Les Derniers jours (collection of articles), Editions J.-M. Place (Paris, France), 1927, reprinted, 1979.

La route no. 10 (novel), B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1927.

Mort de la pensée bourgeoise, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1929, reprinted, R. Laffont (Paris, France), 1970.

Mort de la morale bourgeoise, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1929, reprinted, J.-J. Pauvert (Paris, France), 1965.

Le bourgeois et l'amour, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1931.

La politique et les partis, Rieder (Paris, France), 1932.

Discours aux Français, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1934.

Lignes de chance, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1934.

Le fameux rouleau compresseur, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1937.

Frère bourgeois, mourez-vous? Ding! Ding! Ding!, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1938.

Histoire de l'Europe, Volume 1: D'Atilla à Tamerlan, Volume 2: L'Europe classique, Volume 3: La crise révolutionnaire, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1945, reprinted, 1973.

Les deux sources de l'art occidental, P. Cailler (Vésenaz-prè-Genève, Switzerland), 1946.

Europe et Asie, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1946.

Structure et destin de l'Europe, Marguerat (Lucerne, Switzerland), 1946.

Prise de sang, R. Laffont (Paris, France), 1946.

De l'innocence, R. Julliard (Paris, France), 1947.

Traité sur la tolérance, Éditions du Cheval Ailé (Geneva, Switzerland), 1948.

La culture en péril, Table Ronde (Paris, France), 1948.

Destins de l'Occident, Table Ronde (Paris, France), 1948.

Sylvia (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1952, reprinted, 1994.

(Editor) Voltaire, Candide, ou l'optimisme, Livre Club du Libraire (Paris, France), 1956.

Présence des morts (novel), Gallimard (Paris, France), 1956, reprinted, 1982.

La France irréelle, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1957, reprinted, 1996.

Les impostures de l'histoire, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1959.

(With Claude Arthaud) Cent ans d'histoire de France, edited by François Hébert-Stevens, Arthaud (Paris, France), 1962.

Rachel et autre grâces (novel), B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1965.

Le 9 thermidor, Hachette (Paris, France), 1965.

Le fin de la IIIe République, 10 juillet 1940, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1968.

Nasser tel qu'on le loue, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1968.

A contretemps, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1969.

Trois faces du sacré, B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1971.

Le virage, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1972.

A venir, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1974.

Regain au pays d'Auge, Livre de Poche (Paris, France), 1974.

(With Patrick Modiano) Interrogatoire: suivi de Il fait beau, allons au cimetiére, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1976.

Essais, selected and edited by Bernard Morlino and Bernard de Fallois, Julliard (Paris, France), 1985.

(With Jean d'Ormesson) Tant que vous penserez à moi (interviews), B. Grasset (Paris, France), 1992.

Un Téléspectateur engagé, presented by Bernard Morlino, Editions François Bourin (Paris, France), 1993.

Also author of preface, Histoires, by Cornelius Tacitus, edited by Henri Jules Ernest Goelzer, Librairie Generale Française (Paris, France), 1963; and Mélanges, by Voltaire, edited by Jacques van den Heuvel, Gallimard (Paris, France), 1965.

SIDELIGHTS: A left-leaning journalist and author who spent most of his life in Paris, France, Emmanuel Berl was influenced early in his life with his experiences of the horrors of war. Having served in the French Army during World War I, he received the Military Cross and was discharged in 1917 because of a respiratory illness. During the 1920s and 1930s, he worked on several weekly magazines and newspapers in Paris, holding true to his pacifist and leftist beliefs, though his political ideology lay somewhere between capitalism and socialism. Among Berl's early books are the psychological novels Méditation sur un amour défunt and La route no. 10. Many of his other books are histories, essay collections, and political commentaries.

With the onset of World War II and the fall of France to Germany, Berl briefly worked as a speech writer for the Vichy government, which was set up by collaborationists. However, because he came from a Jewish family and because of his left-leaning politics and support for the Munich Peace Pact, he was forced to flee Paris and go into hiding. After the war, he became even more renowned as a writer, producing books on history, culture, and criticism. He also wrote several more novels, including Sylvia and Rachel et autre grâces, which are semiautobiographical works that draw on his Jewish past.



Kritzman, Lawrence D., editor, Auschwitz and After, Routledge (New York, NY), 1995, pp. 119-129.


RLA: Romance Language Annual, September, 1997, Kathleen W. Smith, "Bearing Witness: Modiano/Berl/Rembrandt," pp. 120-126.