Under Fire Background

Under Fire Background

Published in December 1916, Under Fire (French title: Le Feu) is a war novel based on Henri Barbusse's own experiences fighting on the Western Front of World War I. It was one of the first novels about World War I, and was written while Barbusse was working for the military in a clerical position at the War Office. Although Under Fire received the Prix Goncourt literary prize, Barbusse received a considerable amount of criticism for making up details about the war in use in the novel.

Under Fire was translated into English the year after its publication by William Fitzwater Wray. An updated translation was published in 2003.

Barbusse was a member of the French Communist Party and was forced to leave the army three times due to injury or illness before his permanent reassignment to a clerical position. In 1918, he moved to Moscow and joined the Bolshevik Party. He was also a lifelong friend of Albert Einstein.

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