Remembering Maurice Bardèche (October 1, 1907–July 30, 1998)Greg Johnson
Today is the birthday of Maurice Bardèche (1907–1998), the French Neo-Fascist writer. Bardèche was a prolific and highly versatile author of literary, film, art criticism, history, journalism, and social and political theory. He published twenty-odd books and countless essays, articles, and reviews.
Born in modest circumstances in provincial Dun-sur-Auron near the geographical center of France, Bardèche rose by sheer dint of genius to the heights of France’s meritocracy. He received a scholarship to the prestigious Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris where he met Thierry Maulnier and his future brother-in-law Robert Brasillach. In 1928, he entered the École Normale Supérieure, where he met such now-famous figures as Jacques Soustelle, Simone Weil, and Georges Pompidou. In 1932 he started teaching at the Sorbonne.
During the 1930s, Bardèche primarily collaborated with Brasillach and Maulnier, writing for their periodicals. In 1935 Bardèche and Brasillach published their influential Histoire du cinéma (Denoël et Steele, 1935; expanded edition, 1943). During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), Bardèche visisted Spain several times and co-authored a Histoire de la guerre d’Espagne (Plon, 1939) with Brasillach. In 1938, Bardèche began to write for the fascist paper Je suis partout.
In the 1940s, Bardèche became known for his work as a literary scholar. In 1940, he completed his thesis on Balzac. He later turned it into a biography, Balzac romancier: la formation de l’art du roman chez Balzac jusqu’à la publication du père Goriot (1820–1835) (Plon, 1943). Bardèche went on to published highly regarded studies of Stendhal (1947), Proust (1971), Flaubert (1974), Céline (1986), and Léon Bloy (1989).
In 1942, after 10 years at the Sorbonne, Bardèche moved to the Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, where he taught until 1944. Always more sympathetic to fascism than National Socialism, Bardèche was not an open collaborationist during the German Occupation of France, although he moved in collaborationist circles. His brother-in-law Robert Brasillach was executed after the Liberation for collaboration. Bardèche was himself arrested for collaboration but was quickly released. His academic career was ended with a ban from teaching in the public educational system.
Bardèche was not silenced by persecution but radicalized. In 1947, he published Lettre à François Mauriac (La Pensée libre, 1947), defending collaborationism, attacking the excesses of the Resistance, and denouncing the purge of Vichy supporters and the execution of individuals like Brasillach. In 1948, he founded his own publishing imprint Les Sept Couleurs (The Seven Colours), named for a book by Brasillach. In 1948, he published Nuremberg ou la Terre promise (Nuremberg, or the Promised Land) (Les Sept Couleurs, 1948), a critique of the Nuremberg trials which landed him in court for defending war crimes. Sentenced to a year in prison, his sentence was commuted by President René Coty. In 1950, he published Nuremberg II ou les Faux-Monnayeurs (Nuremberg II or The Counterfeiters) (Les Sept Couleurs, 1950). In 1952, he founded his journal Défense de l’Occident (Defense of the West), which he published until 1982.
In 1951, Bardèche joined Sir Oswald Mosley, Karl-Heinz Priester, and Per Engdahl in founding the European Social Movement (MSE), the goal of which was to promote pan-European nationalism. Bardèche served as vice-president.
True to his heritage as a “Frank,” Bardèche never dodged labels like “Rightist” or “fascist.” Instead, he owned them and tried to give them substance. In the Introduction to his book Qu’est-ce que le fascisme? (What is Fascism?) (Les Sept Couleurs, 1961) he states forthrightly “I am a fascist writer.” Bardèche sought to bring fascism back to its socialist and syndicalist roots. He was particularly attracted to Mussolini’s late experiment, the Italian Social Republic.
Counter-Currents has published the following works by Bardèche:
- “The Fascist Dream,” Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 (in Czech here, here, and here)
- “From International Law to Global Oligarchy“
- “Maurice Bardèche on Francis Parker Yockey“
- “Nuremberg or The Promised Land“
- “The Rights of Man“
- “Six Postulates of Fascist Socialism” (Ukrainian translation here)
- “The True Foundations of the Nuremberg Tribunal“
- “What is Fascism?” (Czech translation here)
We have also published the following related to Bardèche:
Enjoyed this article?
Be the first to leave a tip in the jar!
* * *
Counter-Currents has extended special privileges to those who donate at least $10/month or $120/year.
- Donors will have immediate access to all Counter-Currents posts. Everyone else will find that one post a day, five posts a week will be behind a “paywall” and will be available to the general public after 30 days. Naturally, we do not grant permission to other websites to repost paywall content before 30 days have passed.
- Paywall member comments will appear immediately instead of waiting in a moderation queue. (People who abuse this privilege will lose it.)
- Paywall members have the option of editing their comments.
- Paywall members get an Badge badge on their comments.
- Paywall members can “like” comments.
- Paywall members can “commission” a yearly article from Counter-Currents. Just send a question that you’d like to have discussed to [email protected]. (Obviously, the topics must be suitable to Counter-Currents and its broader project, as well as the interests and expertise of our writers.)
To get full access to all content behind the paywall, please visit our redesigned Paywall page.
Remembering Pentti Linkola (December 7, 1932-April 5, 2020)
Proč nepodporuji Tommyho Robinsona
Christmas Special: Merry Christmas, Infidels!
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 561: An All-Star Thanksgiving Weekend Special
We Have Much to be Thankful For
Black Friday Special: It’s Time to STOP Shopping for Christmas
Nueva Derecha vs. Vieja Derecha, Capítulo 12: La Cuestión Cristiana en el Nacionalismo Blanco