Encounters and Early Convictions

Pierre Bergé moved to Paris and worked as a book dealer specializing in first editions. “I owe my first job to Richard Anacréon,” he recalled (Les jours s’en vont, je demeure). He soon met the major literary figures of that time, including Jean Giono, Jean Cocteau, Louis Aragon, Jean-Paul Sartre, and André Breton.

His political convictions led him to become the editor-in-chief of the journal La Patrie mondiale, dedicated to supporting Garry Davis and his World Citizens movement. Davis campaigned for a world without borders and national distinctions, which he saw as the source of particularly intense conflict following World War II.

Today it is difficult to imagine the fervor surrounding Garry Davis. We organized a number of meetings at which Sartre, Camus, Breton, Queneau, and many others spoke. I remember one evening at the Vél d’Hiv’, which was still there at the time. A jam-packed room gave Garry a standing ovation.

Pierre Bergé, cited in Libération, July 29, 2013.