15 Pages


In 1906, the year when Amours was published in the Mercure de France, Leautaud resolved to devote himself wholly to writing. For twelve years he had been working as a solicitor’s clerk after being lucky enough to break away from the series o f menial jobs that depressed his spirit and humiliated his in­ dependent character. Valery had suggested a clerical post in some town hall. There were no exams to be taken and no age limit. There would be plenty o f time for writing. In the event, Leautaud decided to apply for work in a lawyer’s office on the Quai Voltaire. He described himself as a law student and, on the strength o f this, was engaged. Eight years later he took a job with a liquidateur judiciaire who ran a flourishing practice in winding up estates and administering bankruptcies. Leautaud’s own share in the liquidation o f a big estate in 1906 was large enough for him to think o f giving up regular employment for a time and concentrating on his literary projects.