- BARJAVEL, Rene
- (1911-1985)French novelist, active in later life as a screenwriter and journalist. His first novel to be translated, Ravage (1943; trans Damon KNIGHT as Ashes, Ashes 1967 US), describes a post- HOLOCAUST France driven inwards into rural quiescence by the sudden disappearance of electricity from the world; the corrupting effects of technology are described scathingly. The next sf work from this important early period is Le voyageur imprudent (1944; with postscript 1958; trans anon as Future Times Three 1970 US), a rather pessimistic TIME-TRAVEL story with the usual paradoxes, partly set in the same future world as the previous novel. Several novels have not been translated: L'homme fort ("The Strong Man") (1946), about a self-created SUPERMAN whose efforts to bring happiness to humanity are doomed; and Le diable l'emporte ("The Devil Takes All") (1948) and its sequel Colomb de la Lune ("Columbus of the Moon") (1962), about the consequences of a future WAR. The epigraph to Le diable l'emporte reads, in translation, "To our grandfathers and grandchildren, the cavemen."RB's later work decreases in intensity and is less interestingly (though almost unvaryingly) gloomy about humanity's prospects. Typical is La nuit des temps (1968; trans Charles Lam Markmann as The Ice People 1970 UK), a ramblingly told morality tale in which two long-frozen humans - survivors of an eons-prior nuclear war - revive into a disaster-bound present age. Other works: Les enfants de l'hombre ("Children of the Shadows") (coll 1946; exp vt Le prince blesse ("The Wounded Prince"] 1974); Le grand secret (1973; trans as The Immortals 1974 US); Jour de feu ("Day of Fire") (1974); Une Rose au Paradis ("A Rose from Paradise") (1981); La Tempete ("The Tempest") (1982).See also: FRANCE.
Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. Academic. 2011.