Ah, what a dusty answer gets the soul When hot for certainties in this our life.
—George Meredith, Modern Love
What precisely is the relationship between literature and painting? Certainly, writers have been inspired by painters, and painters by writers. Nowadays, however, the academic mode for interdisciplinary speculation goes much further: it offers a venturesome study that aims to show a close link between methods of writing and painting in the unlikely person of the poet, novelist, and publicist Pierre Drieu La Rochelle (1893-1945). Still a highly controversial figure, perhaps Drieu is best known outside France for the film that Louis Malle adapted in 1963 from the novel Le Feu Follet (1931), about a self-destructive drug addict, transformed by the script into an alcoholic.