(pen name of Olivier Degée). Born Dec. 7, 1890, in Landennesur-Meuse, near Namur; died Feb. 9, 1944, in Seilles, near Liege. Belgian author writing in French.
Tousseul engaged in many different professions during his lifetime. In 1916 he published the collection of short stories and poetry For My Friends. In later collections, for example, The Death of Little Blanche (1918), he sympathetically and bitterly described the hard life and toil of the poor. Tousseul was imprisoned in 1919 for writing antiwar articles. In the 1920’s he was associated with the Ciarté group.
Tousseul’s best works were the autobiographical novel Jean Clarambaux (vols. 1–5, 1927–36) and the trilogy The Notebook of Francois (vols. 1–3, 1938). Jean Clarambaux depicts the life of ordinary workers; the trilogy, set in the 19th century, deals with the peasant Stiénon family. In the trilogy, Tousseul sympathized with strikers, impoverished peasants, and Communards. In Tousseul’s works of the 1930’s, idealization of the patriarchal way of life was accompanied by an increasingly mystical tone, as seen in The Book of Reason (1936).
WORKSFeuillets rustiques. Brussels, 1962.
Almanach et tablettes. Brussels, 1963.
In Russian translation:
Istoriia odnogo bedniaka: Rasskazy. Moscow-Leningrad, 1927.
REFERENCEDemeuse, P. Introduction á Jean Tousseul. [Brussels] 1942.
I. N. POZHAROVA