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Farrère, Claude

Entry updated 31 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

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Pseudonym of French naval officer and author Frédéric Charles Pierre Édouard Bargone (1876-1957), who served in the French armed forces throughout World War One; he is known mainly for exoticized "colonial" novels after the model of Pierre Loti (1850-1923). Fumée d'opium (coll of linked stories 1904; trans Samuel Putnam as Black Opium 1929) contains a range of Drug fantasies; some of the stories in the untranslated Contes d'outre et d'autres mondes ["Tales of Beyond and Other Worlds"] (coll 1923) are sf. His sf novels are La maison des hommes vivants (1911; trans Arthur Livingston as The House of the Secret 1923), about experiments in longevity (see Immortality); and, more notably, Les condamnés à mort (1920; trans Elisabeth Abbott as Useless Hands 1926), which renders in harsh Social-Darwinist terms a 1990s workers' revolt as bleakly pathetic: when the workers – the "useless hands" of the English-language title – go on strike against the threat of Automation, they are disintegrated by a new weapon and machines take over their jobs. [JC]

see also: Dystopias.

Frédéric Charles Pierre Édouard Bargone

born Lyon, France: 27 April 1876

died Paris: 21 June 1957

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