Monday, January 25, 2016
Pierre Mac Orlan
Pierre Mac Orlan, sometimes written MacOrlan (born Pierre Dumarchey, 1882 – 1970), was a French novelist and songwriter.
His novel Quai des Brumes was the source for Marcel Carné's 1938 film of the same name, starring Jean Gabin. He was also a prolific writer of chansons, many of which were recorded and popularized by French singers such as Juliette Gréco, Monique Morelli, Catherine Sauvage, and Germaine Montero.
Born in Péronne, Somme, in northern France, Mac Orlan lived in Rouen and Paris as a young man, working at a variety of jobs and learning to play the accordion. In his twenties, he travelled widely in Europe, before returning to Paris and becoming a noted figure in Bohemian art circles.
He fought in the war against Germany until wounded in 1916, after which he worked as a war correspondent. In later years he earned a living as a writer in Saint Cyr-sur-Morin, outside Paris. In the late 1920s he became an influential critic of film and photography.
Using his real name, Pierre Dumarchey, and various pseudonyms, he was for several years a writer of pornographic novels, which depicted flagellation and sado-masochism. He used the Dumarchey name to upset an uncle of his who had made his life hard.