Fear: A Novel of World War I

Author(s): Gabriel Chevallier


An NYRB Classics Original Winner of the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation 1915: Jean Dartemont heads off to the Great War, an eager conscript. The only thing he fears is missing the action. Soon, however, the vaunted "war to end all wars" seems like a war that will never end: whether mired in the trenches or going over the top, Jean finds himself caught in the midst of an unimaginable, unceasing slaughter. After he is wounded, he returns from the front to discover a world where no one knows or wants to know any of this. Both the public and the authorities go on talking about heroes--and sending more men to their graves. But Jean refuses to keep silent. He will speak the forbidden word. He will tell them about fear. John Berger has called "Fear" "a book of the utmost urgency and relevance." A literary masterpiece, it is also an essential and unforgettable reckoning with the terrible war that gave birth to a century of war.


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Gabriel Chevallier (1895-1969) was the son of a notary clerk and lived in Lyon for most of his life. He was called up at the start of World War I and wounded a year later. Returning to the front, he spent the remainder of the war as an infantryman, and was ultimately awarded the Croix de Guerre and named Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He began writing "Fear" in 1925 but did not publish it until 1930, a year after his first novel, "Durand: voyageur de commerce," was released. "Fear" was suppressed during World War II and not made available again until 1951, by which time Chevallier had earned international fame for his "Clochemerle "(1934), a comedy of provincial French manners of the Beaujolais region that sold several million copies. In all Chevallier would write twenty-one novels, including several more set in the fictional village of Clochemerle. John Berger is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including "To the Wedding," the "Into Their Labours" trilogy, "About Looking," "Ways of Seeing," and "G.," for which he won the Booker Prize. His most recent book is "Understanding a Photograph," a collection of his writings about photography, edited by Geoff Dyer. He lives in a small rural community in France. Malcolm Imrie's translations from the French include Guy Debord's "Comments on the Society of the Spectacle" and Jose Pierre's "Investigating Sex: Surrealist Discussions 1928-1932." His translation of Gabriel Chevallier's "Fear "won the Scott Moncrieff Prize, the most prestigious award for a French-to-English translation.

General Fields

  • : 9781590177167
  • : New York Review of Books
  • : New York Review of Books
  • : 0.367
  • : May 2014
  • : 201mm X 130mm X 20mm
  • : United States
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Gabriel Chevallier
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : 843.912
  • : 336