A censorship row has erupted in Paris after publishing house Gallimard announced it would publish a collection of pro-Hitler pamphlets by the otherwise notable novelist Louis-Ferdinand CÚline.
CÚline is hailed as one of France's most brilliant writers for his 1932 novel Journey to the End of the Night, regarded as one of the greatest French works of the 20th century.
Gallimard has insisted it will go ahead with the publication of Bagatelles pour un massacre, a collection of 1930s pamphlets by CÚline, who called for the extermination of Jews. The publication date is not set but Gallimard has
insisted its intention is to frame the texts with a critical commentary.
When Gallimard was reported to be about to publish the collection last spring, the government stepped in and summoned the publisher. The government urged the publisher to include notes giving the full context drawn up by specialists, including
historians. The editor is understood to have rejected this, claiming that notes by a literary expert on CÚline would suffice.
Serge Klarsfeld, a French lawyer and Nazi-hunter has demanded the publication be stopped, threatening legal action if Gallimard continues. He said he supported historians studying the texts, but said that presenting a shiny new edition of CÚline's
"abject" writing in bookshops would be "intolerable" and no amount of footnotes could temper that.
The book has already been published in Canada in 2012, although Le Monde warned that the Canadian edition's notes were insufficient.