Born Jan. 3, 1915, in Bagnères-de-Bigorre, department of the Hautes-Pyrénées; died May 14, 1963, in Paris. French journalist and writer. Communist; member of the Central Committee of the French Communist Party (from 1954).
Courtade was the son of a petty civil servant. He received a master’s degree in literature. During the fascist occupation of France (1940–44), he participated in the Resistance Movement. He wrote publicistic books, including Notes on Anticommunism (1946) and Murder In Athens (1952, with C. Roy). His political journalistic novel Jimmy (1951; Russian translation, 1953), criticized the American way of life and US postwar policies in France. The novel Black River (1953) was directed against the colonial war in Vietnam. Courtade’s novellas were collected in Circumstances (1946) and Higher Animals (1956).
The publicistic yet intimate autobiographical novel Red Square (1961; Russian translation, 1963) was directed against dogmatism, affirming the dialecticism and historicism of thought. The novel interwove the fate of a French Communist intellectual with the dramatic movement of history during a quarter century and events in France with those in the USSR. In 1960, Courtade became a correspondent in Moscow for the newspaper L’Humanité.
REFERENCESAndreev, L. G. Frantsuzskaia literatura 1917–1956 gg. [Moscow] 1959.
Shkunaeva, I.D. Sovremennaia frantsuzskaia literatura (ocherki). Moscow, 1961. Pages 27–30.
(Obituaries and reminiscences.) Les Lettres françaises, May 16–22, 1963, no. 978.
“P. Courtade est mort.” L’Humanité, May 15, 1963, no. 5820.
N. N. POLIANSKII