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When a Poet Sees a Chestnut Tree
Series No.: 166
ISBN: 978-1-933382-20-3, Pages: 167
French Literature, Poetry
Born in 1926 in Lyons, Jean-Pierre Rosnay grew up with his aunt until his father remarried. At 12 he was put into pension at Tourvielle, fleeing the following year to take refuge on a farm at Saint-Paul-Trois Châteaux. At 16 he joined the French Resistance, operating under the code name Bébé. He took an assignment to assassinate Klaus Barbie in 1943, but was arrested and confined in the infamous prison at I'Ecole de Santé Militaire in Lyons. He escaped four months later, enrolling in the regular army, serving briefly with the occupying forces in Alsace and Germany.
The young veteran joined the Parisian intellectual community, becoming associated with Boris Vian, the singer Juliette Greco, Isidore Isou, and others. In 1949 Rosnay founded the J. A. R. (Young Writers Brought Together), a publishing house dedicated to bringing out the work of young poets and writers.
His own writing, derived from the "post-Surrealists" of pre-World War II Paris, includes La foire aux ludions, Les cheveux dans les yeux, Coup de tête, Le treiziè apôtre, Comme un bateau prend la mer, treizième Diagonales, Fragment et Relief, and Danger Falaise Instable. He also founded the famed Club de Poètes.