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Charles Plisnier

  Writer, Prix Goncourt in 1937, (1896-1952).Charles Plisnier was born at Ghlin, near Mons, into a working-class family, and began writing poems while still at school, encouraged by the poet Emile Verhaeren who lived nearby. The literary magazine Flamberge was the first to publish his work. While studying Law at the Free University of Brussels, he became a communist. After graduation, he practised as a barrister and became a leading member of the Belgian Communist Party, attending the International Communist Congresses from 1919 onwards. He was appointed Director of the communist charity Secours Rouge International in 1925, only to lose this position in the purge of Trotskyites in 1928. Plisnier then became a supporter of the Belgian Workers’ Party and a Catholic, and was one of the principal speakers at the Congrès national wallon in 1945 when he advocated a federal Belgium and a federal Europe. In 1937, he won the Prix Goncourt for his novel Mariages et Faux Passeports, the first Belgian to receive this honour. In the same year, he was elected a member of the Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique, whose members nominated him for the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1951. Plisnier founded several literary magazines, including Ferveur (1913), Prospections (1929), L’Esprit du Temps (1933) and Alerte (1939). His published works include 21 collections of poems, 13 novels and numerous essays and articles.

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