French scholar Alice Béja has published a new book on my grandfather, Des Mots Pour Se Battre. Wonderful to see new JDP-related publishing!
France was always a special place for my grandfather. I think it’s accurate to say that his knowledge of French was just a few shades below his English. And his culinary appetite was very Mediterranean. Lots of garlic, lemon, fish. And of course he knew a great many French artists. Jean-Paul Sartre was certainly effusive in his praise for JDP at one point.
Here is a summary of Alice’s book: “Literature and politics are often seen as a mismatched couple. But they come together in the works of John Dos Passos (1896-1970), who was both a modernist and a radical and sought to use fiction as a political tool ; by fragmenting plot, characters and time in his novels, he wanted to expose the hidden agenda of America’s « master narrative ».
Best wishes for the book’s success!
-John Dos Passos Coggin