How crime writer Jean Meckert captured the grim mood of postwar France

By Sébastien Omont (En attendant Nadeau)

The late novelist, crime writer and screenwriter Jean Meckert, who sometimes wrote under the name Jean Amila, chronicled society in post-war France in a series of articles for a weekly publication. Many of these have now been collected in a book called 'Chez les anarchistes'. Written between 1946 and 1956, they reveal a downtrodden mood in parts of French society that was far removed from the high hopes that Liberation had brought at the end of World War II. They also show an author who was wearied by events but never resigned to them, and whose humour and energy outshone any disillusion. Sébastien Omont of the online literary review En attendant Nadeau explores Meckert's post-war articles.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

A collection of articles by the late French novelist, crime writer and screenwriter Jean Meckert, recently published in book form under the title Chez les anarchistes, paint a picture of the sometimes sombre state of France society following Liberation in 1945. Many of the articles, which were initially published in the weekly publication Essor, date from the first half of 1946, just months after the end of World War II and the long years of German Occupation.