Clément, Jean Baptiste

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Clément, Jean Baptiste

 

Born May 31, 1836, in Boulogne-sur-Seine; died Feb. 23, 1903, in Paris. French poet, public figure, and essayist.

Clément was persecuted for expressing in verses and pamphlets his opposition to the Second Empire. In 1871 he was a member of the Paris Commune, which he celebrated in verse, condemning the executioners of the Communards in “Bloody Week” (1871), and expressing his faith in the victory of the people in “Communard” (1871). After the fall of the Commune, Clément emigrated to Belgium and then to England. After returning to his homeland in 1880, he wrote exposés of the hypocrisy of bourgeois democracy and the church. His verses “Songs” (1885) and “One Hundred New Songs” (1899) called for a struggle against the Third Republic. The varied genres, expressiveness, and simplicity of style of Clement’s songs hark back to French folk art. Clément is the author of unfinished memoirs on the Commune, The Revenge of the Communards (1886–87), and of the colloquies Social Questions Set Forth in an Easily Understood Manner (vols. 1–2, 1887–88).

WORKS

La Chanson populaire. Paris, 1900.
In Russian translation:
Izbrannye pesni. Moscow, 1951.

REFERENCES

Danilin, Iu. Poety Parizhskoi Kommuny, vol. 1. Moscow, 1947.
Istoriia frantsuzskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1959.
Rémy, T. Le Temps des cerises (J. B. Clément). Paris [1968].

V. S. LOZOVETSKII