Henri-Pierre Roché  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Henri-Pierre Roché (May 28, 1879April 9, 1959) was a French author who was involved with the Dada movement, best-known for writing the novel that was the basis of the film Jules et Jim.

Born in Paris, France, Henri-Pierre Roché was a respected journalist as well as an art collector and dealer. At the turn of the 20th century, he became close friends with a number of young artists from the Montparnasse Quarter of Paris including: Manuel Ortiz de Zárate, Marie Vassilieff, Henri-Pierre Roché, Max Jacob, and Pablo Picasso.

Henri-Pierre Roché was also a friend of Francis Picabia, Constantin Brancusi, and Marcel Duchamp, with whom he traveled to New York city in 1916 following his discharge from the French army. There, he and Duchamp teamed up with Beatrice Wood to create "Blind Man," a magazine that was one of the earliest manifestations of the Dada art movement in the United States.

Noted for his womanizing, Roché married twice. In his later years, he wrote two successful novels. Biographies of Beatrice Wood traditionally link Roché's first novel (and the consequent film), Jules et Jim, with the love triangle between Duchamp, Wood, and himself. Other sources link their triangle to Roché's unfinished novel, Victor, and Jules et Jim with the triangle between Roché, Franz Hessel and Helen Hessel. Beatrice Wood commented on this topic on p. 136 of her 1985 autobiography, I Shock Myself:

"Roché lived in Paris with his wife Denise, and had by now written Jules et Jim...Because the story concerns two young men who are close friends and a woman who loves them both, people have wondered how much was based on Roché, Marcel, and me. I cannot say what memories or episodes inspired Roché, but the characters bear only passing resemblance to those of us in real life!"

His second major novel, also based on an episode of his life, was published in 1956 as Les deux anglaises et le continent. Both novels, although written by a man who was quite advanced in age, exude a surprising amount of vitality and freshness not often seen in French romantic stories of the time. French director François Truffaut was so impressed by them that he went on to adapt each to the big screen.

Henri-Pierre Roché died in 1959 in Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Henri-Pierre Roché" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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