Pascal Pia  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Pascal Pia, born Pierre Durand (August 15 1903 - September 27 1979), was a French writer, journalist, illustrator and scholar. He published Les livres de l'Enfer, a book that documents the private case of the Parisian library Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

This and Patrick J. Kearney's Private Case listing of erotica have served as reliable catalogs with a bibliographic function, different from other relevant bibliographies in that these two have been compiled using works in hand.


One of his earliest works was La Muse en rut, a collection of erotic poems published in 1928. He also illustrated erotic works, such as the Pierre Louÿs's Songs of Bilitis. In 1938 he founded the journal Alger républicain. During World War II Pia participated in the French Resistance (in the group "Combat") and in 1944 he became chief editor of the clandestine resistance journal Combat, using the pseudonym Pontault. He said "We will try to make a reasonable newspaper. And as the world is absurd, it will fail."

Albert Camus worked as a journalist at the Alger républicain and later also at Combat. Pia and Camus became friends, and Camus dedicated his 1942 essay The Myth of Sisyphus to Pia. A collection of their correspondence was published in 2000.

Pia was a member ("Satrape") of the Collège de 'pataphysique. He often expressed absurdist and nihilistic sentiments. At the end of his life, he claimed the "right to nothingness", prohibiting others from writing about him after his death.

Selected bibliography

  • La Muse en rut et autres poèmes (1928)
  • Baudelaire par lui-même (1952)
  • Apollinaire par lui-même (1954)
  • Les livres de l'Enfer: bibliographie critique des ouvrages érotiques dans leurs différentes éditions du XVIe siècle à nos jours (1978) [The Books of the "Enfer:" Critical Bibliography of Erotic Works in their Different Editions from the Sixteenth Century to the Present].
  • Correspondance avec Albert Camus (2000)

External links

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