chapter
15 Pages

WOMEN . . . AND ANIMALS

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.