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Benjamin Rene; Private Gaspard

SKU: Benjamin Rene AB0512028 $95.00
Private Gaspard: A soldier of France by Rene Benjamin translated from French by Selmer Fougner. Published by Brentano trades New York in 1916. Ex Libris War Service Library: This book is provided by the people of the United States through the American Library Association for the use of the soldiers and sailors. This volume is an extraordinary historical document. It contains the names and addresses of men returning home from WW I with the following notation: All of these addresses are from 323 machine gun men on their way home from France. All have been wounded and gassed but none loved by a pretty girl. We went over 1100 strong we came back 280. Would like for a (illegible) girls to write to us all. We have been together 2 years. Additional notations on end papers and paste downs. A fascinating historical perspective from the men who lived the event. Brown cloth cover with red white and blue border (masking tape on front with the notation world war 1 soldiers wrote in this book. Spine is sun faded and illegible. Back cover exhibits wear consistent with age and travels. 300 off-white pages without foxing tear or loss. Some minor spotting on a few random pages. Spine and binding are tight. Front cover board is cracked down the middle vertically. Text is complete. Volume measures: 13.5 cm. x 19 cm. (12mo). Private Gaspard: A Soldier in France by Rene Benjamin will hold its own against more notable war genre titles. Gaspard will remain an archetype in French Literature such as on the level of Moliere trades Scapin Daudet trades Tartarin Hugo trades Gavroche or Aicard trades Maurin des Maures. Indeed the name Gaspard has already passed into the language to designate the intelligent alert man of the people of France or rather of Paris the man of perfectly unsophisticated brain who has a genius for acting kindly is always ready to help is doing without seeming to think of it at all the most beautiful things: picturesque in speech droll in manner sound in mind as a red apple transparent as glass true as steel. This is the idealized French soldier which the general public especially abroad likes to imagine and perfectly legitimately: Gaspards are more likely to be found in the French Army than elsewhere although nobody would think that all are Garspards in the French Army. Rene Benjamin (1885 in Paris France 1948 in Tours France) was a French author. In 1915 he received the Prix Goncourt for his novel Gaspard. In 1938 he became the first Goncourt laureate to be appointed a member of the Academie Goncourt the jury that decides the winner of the prize.