Le Feu, Journal d'une Escouade
First French edition of Barbusse's gritty World War One novel
First French edition, hardback, rebound in red cloth with contrasting leather title label to spine. 18 × 11.5cm, 378pp . French text.
Based on Barbusse's experiences as a French soldier on the Western Front, Under Fire follows a squad of French volunteer soldiers on the Western front after the German invasion. The book opens and ends with broad visions shared by multiple characters but beyond these the action of the novel takes place in occupied France. The chapters are episodic, with the best-known being "Under Fire" which describes a trench assault from the Allied trench across No-Man's Land into the German trench. In contrast to many war novels which came before it, the book describes war in gritty and brutal realism and is noted for its realistic descriptions of death in war and the squalid trench conditions.
Good condition. The red cloth is faded a little to the spine ends and board edges, and the pages are quite heavily age-toned but the binding is secure and this is a good solid readable copy.