"La Revolte": Le supplement litteraire

David F Mayer, Fordham University


In 1879, the Russian anarchist Kropotkin created a newspaper entitled Le Revolte in order to inform and educate the proletariat. In 1883 he hired Jean Grave as his editor, who then transported the newspaper to Paris and renamed it La Revolte. The paper was closed down by the government in 1894. In 1887, Grave created a literary supplement in which he reproduced texts written by some of the most illustrious writers in history. Grave also reproduced texts written by his contemporaries who, quite often, were members of La Societe des Gens des Lettres, an authors' union that protected the rights of its members. Grave was asked to pay for having reprinted one of the union member's texts. Grave and La Revolte were caught up in a war between writers who wanted to have control over the rights of publication, and those who accepted La Societe des Gens des Lettres as their representation. It was a battle that revealed a conflict between writers who were businessmen and those who were idealists. Although writers such as Jean Richepin and Aurelian Scholl were not anarchists, they authorized La Revolte to print their texts. Other members like Emile Zola and Guy de Maupassant refused. The anarchist cause represented freedom from all forms of government and regulations. At the end of the nineteenth century, many of the decadant, symbolist and naturalist writers were attracted to La Revolte because they longed to break from the constricting rules of traditional literary circles. Thus the literary supplement was filled with texts that not only helped the anarchists to educate the proletariat, but it allowed these frustrated writers to experiment with different styles and forms. Jean Grave and La Revolte hoped to inspire the proletariat to educate themselves. He believed that the power of knowledge would improve the workers' conditions, and enable them to take power from the bourgeoisie and destroy government and oppression forever. La Revolte and its literary supplement were a source of hope.

Subject Area

Romance literature

Recommended Citation

Mayer, David F, ""La Revolte": Le supplement litteraire" (1996). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9628342.