Fournier, Henri Alban (1886–1914) By Sidhu, Maya
Henri Alban Fournier, writing under the pseudonym Alain-Fournier, was a French novelist most famous for writing the literary classic Le Grand Meaulnes (1913). The title often appears in the original French but has also been translated as The Lost Estate, The Wanderer, and The Lost Domain. Fournier’s promising literary career was cut short by his untimely death in 1914 while fighting for France in Meuse during World War I. Le Grand Meaulnes features a teenage male protagonist struggling with the transition from childhood to adolescence and shares many similarities with events from Fournier’s life. Le Grand Meaulnes is celebrated for its innovation in literary style and narrative. The novel demonstrates characteristics of the symbolist movement in literature as a lyrical study of the French countryside. In addition, Fournier recounts his fantastic adventure story as a medieval allegory. Fournier is also known for his poetry and his literary reviews. In 1924, French writer Jacques Rivière published a collection of these works under the title Miracles. His extensive correspondence with Rivière has become part of French literary criticism.