passion for writing, passion for France ”

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By reading, by writing, de Gaulle does not stop building himself but he also draws the main lines of the national novel in which he is impatient to take place. He is a man who never forgets that our voice comes from afar and that our past has been the receptacle of a rush of enigmas, where so many beings have left their examples. Rene Saint Paul/©Saint Paul / Bridgeman images

TRIBUNE – On this anniversary of the death of the leader of Free France and founder of the Fifth Republic, fifty-one years ago, on November 9, 1970, academician Daniel Rondeau recalls how much de Gaulle wanted to be a writer as much as ‘a man of state. An assiduous reader, lover of theater and poetry, author of great style, he illustrates the special link that literature and politics maintain in our country.

At the age of 15, a student at the Jesuit College of the Immaculate Conception in Paris, the young Charles de Gaulle blackened a twenty-page notebook in which he described an imaginary conflict which depicted three German armies crossing the Vosges. It is an autobiographical text of anticipation. The young author gives himself the age of Napoleon at Wagram and propels himself at the head of an army of 200,000 men. He names his character in a concise fashion: General de Gaulle. For him, writing is already a way of announcing himself and putting his hand on the future. Writing, however, in his mind does not fall under prophecy. The General is not Nostradamus. It will always be for him a way of clarifying his thought, of posing it publicly, of meditating on men and on events. It is also the first phase of the action.

The text of June 18 is the first act of French resistance to the occupier. A man reads the leaflets he had given to Elisabeth de Miribel. He is alone, he is exiled, he

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