December 13, 2006

Mac Orlan, the many skills writer

Pierre Dumarchey, alias Mac Orlan, is born in 1882 in Péronne. He has a only brother who will be a legionnaire. Their mother dies when they are still young and Mac Orlan is educated by his mother's family in Orléans. Teenager, he goes to the "Ecole Normale Supérieure" of Le Havre to become a master. But, not interested in teaching, he runs to Montmartre, the famous area of Paris, to take his chance as a painter. Montmartre will remain his harbord between severals trips to London, Belgium, Italy. The cabaret named «Le Lapin Agile» welcomes Mac Orlan and at the same time Max Jacob, Apollinaire, Carco, Dorgelès, Picasso, Vlaminck. In 1910, Mac Orlan tries to sell some comic drawings for the review «Le Rire». Gus Bofa, the editor, prefers the commentaries of the drawings than the drawings in themselves. He spurs Mac Orlan on writing stories which become successfull and allow him to release, en 1912, La Maison du retour écoeurant, his first novel with strange and humorous adventures. That's the beginning of a vivid career.
Mac Orlan writes marvelous stories, loves to portray cosmopolitan and unconventional worlds as in the novel La Bandera (1931). He writes also stories that set in familiar places : Montmartre, Rouen, or Le Havre as in Quai des Brumes, notorious because of the movie adaptation by Marcel Carné. In the last part of his life, Mac Orlan becomes famous with realistic lyrics he composes (La fille de Londres, La chanson de Margaret, Rose des bois, Nelly) and which are interpreted by big names of french song. "Poet of the adventure", creator of the "marvelous and social", radio producer, song writer, member of the French Academy, Goncourt award winner, Mac Orlan never stopped working, till his end, in 1970.
Sources : -

Currently, at the librairie Loliee, you can find original edition ....
- Petit Manuel du parfait aventurier. Paris, La Sirène, 1920, in-8,.
- Malice. Crès et Cie, 1923, in-12.
- La Venus Internationale. Paris, N.R.F, 1923, in-8.
- Les Pirates de l'avenue du Rhum (reportage). Paris, Sagittaire, 1925, in-12.
- Rue Saint-Vincent. Images Italiennes et Françaises. Paris, Editions du Capitole, 1928, in-8.
- Rhénanie. Paris, Emile Paul Frères, 1928, in-8.
- Chroniques de la fin du monde. Paris, Emile-Paul frères, 1940, in-8. well as illustrated books :
- L'Inflation sentimentale. Paris, La Renaissance du livre, 1923, in-4, original watercolors by Chas-Laborde.
- Boutiques de la Foire, Paris, Marcel Seheur, 1926, petit in-4, original lithographies by Lucien Boucher.
- Le Tombeau de Pascin, 1944, in-8, original engravings by Pascin.