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Le Feu

Dr Heather Jones reflects on Henri Barbusse's novel Le Feu, the work of a French soldier at the front in World War I and the first explicit account of conditions there.

How great artists and thinkers responded to the First World War in individual work.

6. Dr Heather Jones of the LSE reflects on Henri Barbusse's novel Le Feu.

Completed in 1916 and the work of a French soldier at the front, Le Feu was the first explicit account of conditions there. It proved a revelation to a French public sold a sentimental line by the press of the time. Yet Le Feu, with its deep insights into the emotions of men at war, was not seen as damaging to home-front morale. Here was a new kind of writing in which rural dialects and working- class accents conveyed heroism, and could be literary, even transcendent.

Producer: Ben Warren.

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