February 06, 2007

Maurice Sachs, the sum of the opposites

Talking about Maurice Sachs life is describing the journey of a man who kept himself in a tenuous stability, wriggling between two fires. He was both a priest and an atheist, a hustler and an idealist, a jewish and a Gestapo collaborator, a homosexual and a married man. Born in a jewish family of parisian jewelers, Maurice Sachs deserts soon this cocoon bourgeois for the real life. Loose ends, he is picked by a catholic and married couple. Sachs becomes catholic and go to the seminary. His sexual preferences prevent him to become a priest. He leaves France for the United Sates where he marries the daughter of a parish priest. He becomes then protestant and, soon, father of a newborn son. This parenthesis of social stability lasts six months. Sachs abandons woman and son and comes back in Paris with one of his lovers.

Thanks to his contacts, he is hired as a secretary by Cocteau. During this period, he meets Max Jacob, Reverdy, Gide. He publishes his first novels and encounters a little success. During the Second World War, he goes to Germany as a voluntary worker and offers his services to the Gestapo. He lives of games, collaborates without complex. «On ne trahit bien que ceux qu’on aime» he wrotes. Sachs, who saves a friend of his from an imminent arrestation, is eventually betrayed by another spy. Under arrest, he is incarcerated in a german jail. There, forced to emprisonment, Sachs writes his master work, Le Sabbat. At the end of the war, he is taken with other prisoners to Hambourg. Exhausted by three walking days, he refuses to go further and is shot down by a bullet in the scruff.

Le Sabbat
, autobiographical narration, recounts the dantesque itinary of a man who was both adulate and hated, unveils a open-hearted and talented writer who leads a tumultuous and miserable existence. Rare is a work so indivisible of his author.
Sources : http://www.seineetdanube.com - http://fr.wikipedia.org

Currently, at the Librairie Loliée you can find :

  • Sachs (Maurice) - Le Sabbat. Paris, Editions Corrêa, 1956.