293 pages, 5.5″x8.5″
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Originally published in France consecutively in 1927 and 1928, The Young European and Geneva or Moscow together represent Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s attempt to wrestle with what it means to be European on a continent seemingly hell-bent on tearing itself apart.
Born to a middle-class family in Normandy, Drieu lived a short but eventful life traveling throughout the European continent. A few years after dropping out of school, he fought in the Great War for his native France. Having been wounded himself three times, Drieu witnessed firsthand what he saw as the self-destruction of Europe, which would inform much of his thoughts during the interwar period. Drieu would later go on to collaborate with the Germans in WW2, participating in the formation of Vichy France.
The Young European, loosely based on Drieu’s own experiences, tracks an adventurous, womanizing young man from a first-person perspective in the form of a poetic novel. The author’s stand-in struggles with his desire to connect with a pan-European identity with the still sharp memory of the first world war.
Geneva or Moscow systematically addresses the many forces that he sees reaping so much destruction around him, including the domination of the machine as well as the evils of capitalism. Drieu tackles the concepts illustrated in the first work at a philosophical level by juxtaposing Soviet communism, aggressively ascendant and spreading fast from its stronghold in Moscow, with the possibility of building a new Europe centered in Geneva.
Antelope Hill Publishing is proud to present Pierre Drieu La Rochelle’s The Young European and Geneva or Moscow for the first time in English. These two unique and intertwined works from one of the most fascinating periods of European history present a first-hand view of the cultural and political environment of interwar Europe.