Henri Barbusse El Fuego.pdf 
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Henri Barbusse: El Fuego, a novel of war and its horrors
Henri Barbusse (1873-1935) was a French writer and pacifist who served as a soldier in World War I. He wrote his most famous novel, El Fuego (Under Fire), based on his experiences in the trenches. The book was published in 1916 and won the prestigious Goncourt Prize. It is considered one of the first realistic depictions of war, showing its brutality, futility, and absurdity.
El Fuego is a diary of a squad of French soldiers who endure the daily hardships and dangers of life on the front. They face hunger, cold, mud, rats, shells, snipers, and gas attacks. They witness death and mutilation of their comrades and enemies alike. They also share moments of camaraderie, humor, and humanity. The novel is composed of 24 chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of war, such as the refuge, the sap, the bombardment, or the dawn.
The novel is not only a vivid portrayal of war, but also a critique of its causes and consequences. Barbusse denounces the nationalism, imperialism, and militarism that led to the conflict. He exposes the lies and propaganda that feed the war machine. He questions the meaning and value of patriotism, heroism, and glory. He expresses his solidarity with the workers and peasants who are exploited and sacrificed by the ruling classes. He calls for a universal brotherhood of mankind that transcends borders and ideologies.
El Fuego is a powerful and moving work that still resonates today. It is a testimony of a generation that was decimated by war. It is a plea for peace and justice that challenges us to rethink our views on war and humanity.
Henri Barbusse was not only a novelist, but also a poet, journalist, and activist. He started as a neo-Symbolist poet, publishing his first collection of poems, Pleureuses (Mourners), in 1895. He later turned to neo-Naturalism, writing novels such as L'Enfer (The Inferno), which depicted the dark side of human nature and society.  
Barbusse was also a prolific journalist, writing for various newspapers and magazines, such as L'HumanitÃ, ClartÃ, and Mondes. He covered topics such as politics, culture, science, and international affairs. He was especially interested in the Soviet Union, where he traveled several times and met with Lenin and Stalin. He wrote a biography of Stalin in 1935, shortly before his death in Moscow.  
Barbusse was also a committed activist, joining the French Communist Party in 1923 and participating in various peace and anti-fascist movements. He founded the ClartÃ movement, which aimed to spread the ideas of socialism and pacifism among intellectuals. He also supported the causes of colonial liberation and workers' rights. He was a lifelong friend of Albert Einstein, with whom he shared a common vision of world peace and social justice.  
Henri Barbusse was a versatile and influential writer who left a lasting mark on French literature and culture. His novel El Fuego remains a classic of war literature and a powerful indictment of war itself. His life and work reflect his passion for humanity and his quest for a better world. aa16f39245